Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dragonfly at Squibb Park

This dragonfly was resting on the fence surrounding Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights. It was kind enough to wait while I fumbled with the lens of my camera for about five minutes before I got this shot. Then it flew away.

According to Wikipedia, dragonflies are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes and other small insects. Oddly, they are seen as sinister in many countries. A few examples:

Some English vernacular names, such as "devil's darning needle" link them with evil or injury. A Romanian folk tale says that the dragonfly was once a horse possessed by the devil. Swedish folklore holds that the devil uses dragonflies to weigh people's souls. The Norwegian name for dragonflies is "Øyenstikker", which literally means Eye Poker. They are often associated with snakes, as in the Welsh name gwas-y-neidr, "adder's servant." (See Wikipedia for more.)

But in Japan dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness. Funny how the same insect can be interpreted so differently depending on your background.

Photo by MK Metz

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