Saturday, August 17, 2013

Winged Cigars


Learned something new this week I thought I'd pass along, because apparently I don't know much about insects. Earlier this week I noticed a green dragonfly perched on a dry rosebud in my backyard. I crept up to see how close I could get and saw that its tiny jaws chomped on something -- open, close, open, close, its mandibles moved rhythmically. How cute, I thought. The green helicopter is having a snack. Hmmmmm.

Then I remembered an incident from elementary school, when a young girl approached me on the playground. She held her index finger out in front of her, as if she wanted to say, "Number one." I remember asking her at the time what had happened to her finger, because the ruddy tip was smothered in a glob of a vaseline-like substance. That's when she told me that she'd been bitten by a dragonfly, except, she didn't call it a dragonfly. She called it a cigarrón, dragonfly in Spanish. What did I know? Winged cigars flew around burning people's fingers whenever somebody tried to touch them. Stay away! From that day forward I'd duck a cigarrón whenever one came near.

These days, I smile every time a dragonfly hovers about, mainly because somebody shared with me once that whenever you see a dragonfly, a loved one who's passed is thinking of you. I'd embraced the winged cigars.

That is until I downloaded this picture and upon closer inspection saw that it munched on a fly. Ew.

Turns out dragonflies are carnivorous.

Who knew?