Wes and I packed a lunch and headed to the water nearby to enjoy a day of sunshine and blue sky this past week. The water levels were up slightly, so we thought we’d take a shortcut while heading to a favorite lunch spot. However, sometimes good ideas aren’t as good as thought, and soon we found ourselves paddling across a sandbar, where the quickly dropping water levels were making it nearly impossible to cross. So above is a funny video of how we eventually made it across, with me, of course, laughing the entire time! Once we finally reached deeper water it was lunchtime, and afterward, I enjoyed taking a walk along an exposed sandy shoreline, where I came upon two beautiful butterflies who obviously had found something tasty in the sand.
I watched them for a while, as I listened to the waves lapping the shore and peepers chirping in the distance. Then I decided to draw in the sand for a bit while basking in the warmth of the abundant sunshine, before climbing back into the kayak.
Paddling along, I noticed a dragonfly floating atop the water, which appeared to have a swollen abdomen. At first, I thought perhaps it was waterlogged or injured, so I carefully lifted it up onto my paddle, gently picked it up and sat it on a piece of small rope on the front of my kayak where it could rest while it dried out. Moments later when passing one of the numerous stumps sticking up out of the water, I noticed what looked like several dragonflies by what appeared to be their casings.
The metamorphosis process of a dragonfly is quite interesting, and we happened to be at the right place at the right time, to see this amazing process firsthand! A dragonfly larva begins the nymph stage once the egg hatches and that part of its’ life may last only a month in warmer regions or possibly several years in colder climates. The growing nymphs breathe through gills, and they do eat during this stage of their lifecycle.
In springtime, when the weather becomes warmer, the fully grown nymph completes its’ metamorphosis process by shedding its skin, or exuvia, and then relaxes in the warmth of the sun whilst expanding its’ wings and letting them dry out.
Soon it’s ready to take flight and in a few days will sport brilliant adult dragonfly colors, while commencing the important tasks of finding food as well as a mate. I was thrilled, to say the least, to be offered a glimpse into this minutely small window of a dragonfly’s amazing life cycle!
~ See our miniatures in these shows (currently online only) this week ~
Our other shows this week have closed with some upcoming exhibitions pending. Check the website for updates.
The Art of the Miniature XVIII
May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC
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Until Next Time . . .