Dragonflies and Darwin…my weekend’s entertainment.

I spent most of the weekend in my own backyard. As much as I enjoy being on the go, I love to be home, and I am very easily satisfied when I spend time observing  backyard activity. Before I completely shift to Monday mode, let me share just a few photos of my entertainment.

How about a dragonfly eating a fly?

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These flamboyantly colored insects are all over our waterway performing their excellent function as natural insecticide. The pond mosquito fish help, but dragonflies give a nice assist.

I was so excited to see him zoom in and catch his meal. I hope next time Sophia and Karina visit we can witness similar excitement.

And speaking of meals, how about Darwin?

I think he was happy we stayed home. He enjoyed our company this weekend. I’m relieved that he is finally more comfortable with his diet. He now eats the grass without too much complaint. We had to curtail the too-rich  broccoli, but he still gets a little  treat of romaine with a light dusting of calcium supplement.

You’ll note his powdery nose…that’s the calcium.

But once again he thought he’d take his own road trip. I caught him sticking his head through the fence openings, but after several attempts he finally mosied off to munch on a bit more grass and then contentedly headed back to his bed for a little nap.

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So another weekend comes to a close, but I don’t intend to just breathe lighter on the weekend. Let’s see what this week brings for me to enjoy. I do have a few mini-fieldtrips planned–oh yes, and then there’s work, but you know who’s waiting for me at work, don’t you?

TurtlesTake notice…see how many ways you can enjoy some of nature’s best–even in a work week!

61 thoughts on “Dragonflies and Darwin…my weekend’s entertainment.

    • Darwin doesn’t actually have to lose weight. THe changes in his diet were to give him better nutrition. We thought the broccoli was good for him! And we gave him a lot…but we were later informed that the pyramids on his shell are actually an anomaly from too much protein, and in the end whatever his little skeletal body underneath the shell needed, he wasn’t getting enough. So the problem has been weaning him off the broccoli. So eventually he should lose the pyramids, which I thought were just pretty!

    • Darwin is about 5 1/2, Nancy. We got him when he was just a couple of months old and about the size of a half dollar! He is going to be much, much larger.He’s something, isn’t he? :-)

      • Thanks, Debra. He has grown! At one point he would have been able to walk through the fence openings . . . now he can only stick his head out.

        I checked these photos to see if his pyramids seemed smaller, they don’t look much different to me yet. Have you noticed any improvement?

      • I haven’t noticed any difference in Darwin’s pyramids yet. From what I understand as he grows they will flatten out. I don’t think he’s growing quite as fast now that he isn’t eating as much, so it will just take longer. Thank you for your thoughtful interest. He really is a special creature–has such a prehistoric look! :-)

    • I have found that keeping my camera close by and taking frequent breaks or walks to just “observe” what’s around me is the best way to alleviate tension! I get so excited about a dragonfly, Rob, so what do you think I’d be like if I had your landscape. Imagine! :-)

  1. Your dragonfly photos were really spectacular! You do such a fantastic job with the camera and all. I do wish the dragonfly used some soy sauce on that fly… Can’t imagine it tasted that good without some seasoning. :-)

    • And that dragonfly took his time savoring that fly, too, Koji! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I felt very lucky with those particular shots. Sometimes I have trouble focusing on a subject that close, but this time it worked! :-)

    • It’s so true, Frank. I am trying to teach my granddaughters to pay more attention, too. I know when I was a younger adult I was always in too much of a hurry…now I don’t want to miss a thing!

  2. I love dragonflies. In our old house we had a large pond and it used to attract a lot of them and I loved to watch them. I’m glad poor Darwin is adjusting to his less calcium rich diet xx

    • Do you remember if your dragonflies were orange like this one, Charlie? I know there are different colors and even slightly different shapes in these interesting insects. I have only had the orange ones in our yard, and wonder if so far away your guys are colored differently? Insects are so fascinating!

    • Thank you for the nice compliment on the photographs, Fiona. I was really happy with the dragonfly. And then old Darwin is very photogenic. :-) I noticed him even eating the timothy hay we’ve given him for months now…finally he is eating much better!

    • I can’t tell if Darwin is really so stubborn and determined to escape being confined, or if he’s just so large and lumbering that he continues to push and push without really giving it too much strategic thinking! But the larger he gets, the harder it is to confine him, and sometimes it really is for his safety! I’ll tell him you asked about him, and I know he’ll be pleased…he’s beginning to warrant a fan club. :-) ox

  3. Fantastic photos of the dragonfly, Debra! I wish my camera could get that “up close and personal”. Won’t the girls be delighted to see the dragonflies now?! Off I go to see what I can see . . .

    • I felt like I was really lucky with the dragonfly shots, Penny. I watched him darting around and then suddenly noticed he stopped, and I thought he had something in his mouth. Fortunately dragonflies don’t seem to be bothered by my being right up in their little bug-eyed faces! The birds see me coming with the camera and quickly scatter, but the dragonfly allowed me to get very close! He’s a pretty color, isn’t he! :-)

    • I really wish I had taken more photos of Darwin when he was small. I never thought I’d be so attached to him, or that he’d turn out to be so interesting. I have been taking tons of photos for the last two years, though, and I do think someday I might come up with a children’s book. I need some research into the best way to do that, but I will take your words as encouragement, because I certainly have thought of it. Thank you, Meg. :-)

  4. If nothing else, that Darwin sure is consistent, always checking the perimeter for a way out — or to more food. I have to salute his determination, Debra. Glad to read he’s adjusted to his new diet. Great shots of the dragonflies, too. With no water around here, a dragonfly is a rarity. Sure could use some to fight the mosquitoes later this season. Maybe you could send us some? :)

    • We feel a responsibility to keep our water healthy and not let mosquitos get out of hand, but in the middle of summer, dragonflies won’t be able to keep up with number of mosquitos here either, I’m afraid. There are so many different types of dragonflies, but I’ve only seen the bright orange ones in our area. I am curious about that. Maybe you can find a little fountain with some moving water, John, and see what shows up. :-) I hope you were able to get your vine cleaned up this weekend. I’m sure that has been a bit of a nuisance. Darwin sends his best!

      • My yard is so small, Debra, that if I’ve got a spot for a fountain, I’ll plant a rosebush. :)
        The vine is gone and now I can go back to fretting about weeds in the rose beds and the bald spots in my yard. And give my regards to my Bud, Darwin.

  5. I love photos and updates about Darwin.. he’s so cute! His white powdered nose is adorable.. and I’m glad he’s settling into his new dietary routine. I must admit grass does sound a bit boring after broccoli, but Darwin has to eat a balanced diet:) Happy Monday! xx

    • Finally on your way home, Christine? You’ve had such a marvelous adventure, haven’t you! I’ve really enjoyed traveling along with you. Thank you for the compliment on the dragonfly photo. I felt so fortunate to have captured the moment. :-)

  6. Dear Debra, I’ve been away from reading blogs and enjoying the shared life of so many wonderfully spirited bloggers like yourself that today as I read about the dragonfly and Darwin I truly for the first time in about three weeks realize what I’ve been missing. So I’m glad to be back in blogland.

    I’ve been trying to walk in a nearby parking lot these past few weeks–that’s been a hit and miss thing because of rain and headaches and a general malaise that settled around me in late May. But given your encouragement to enjoy nature, I’m going tomorrow to the small park that borders President Truman’s library. There, I might find the nature that you write about so winningly. Thank you. Peace.

    • I would really love to visit the Truman Library. I can imagine that is a very special place to soak up some history in review! I am so very sorry to hear that you have been really down with your headaches. I knew you had your special reunion and friends visiting at that time, but it sounds like you’ve had many reasons why you’ve needed to take a break from so much reading. It’s always a joy to hear from you, and when you are “silent” I am simply concerned for you, Dee. Thank you for your visit today, and I do hope you were able to get outdoors some. I know for me it lifts my spirits. But it must be very hard when you don’t feel well. I do hope you’re doing better now, my friend. ox

  7. Debra, what absolutely stunning pictures of the dragonfly! The colours, the detail….just breathtaking. And I love the light in your photos, every time. I can almost feel the sunshine. Your back yard looked so inviting. Even if Darwin was determined to find a way out of it :-D

    • I do think we provide a nice place for Darwin to spend his days, Kate. I’ve been so patient when he eats and tramples my plants! And then he acts up–imagine! :-) I must say that I was really proud of my dragonfly photo, too. I think it was a bit of a fluke, but I took a great many photos and few came out with good focus. I’m so glad you enjoyed them–and the sunshine. :-)

  8. Darwin is clearly one of lifes adventurers – and giving you lots to worry about as a result :-) I bet he could chomp through that fence if he really wanted too ;-)

    • Thanks, Karen. All of the dragonflies I’m familiar with are the red-oragne ones. I do know, through books, I suppose, that there are other colors, but I’ve never seen them. Kind of like birds, I guess–they have their own territory! :-)

  9. Very nice shots! Darwin is a sweetie, and I love Dragonflies. We don’t see too many around Western North Carolina, as they prefer still waters, to rushing streams and waterfalls. So, they are particularly wonderful to see, when we do see them. Hope you have a thoroughly relaxing weekend, in your beautiful backyard sanctuary. :-)

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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