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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life Emerging
this afternoon, with camera in hand, i went to sit by the pond just to see what i could see . . .
a small bug dive-bombed into the water and was struggling. i stuck my thumb in and under it in order to bring it out with as little damage as possible. and started snapping shots with my other hand. when it was in the water i thought that it was possibly a lacewing . . . you can see by the above shot that it was very small and the only reason that you can see it's details very well is because i was shooting in macro. and because of this, you can see that it's actually a very tiny dragonfly~!~
eventually it dried off enough so that it's wing was no longer stuck to my thumb and i gently placed it beside the pond among some small pebbles so that it could continue to dry off.

in the meantime, i took LOTS of photos~!~

at some point it was laying on top of a pebble in this superman position that you see above. i have no idea why, except maybe the surface was warm and it was trying to make the most of the situation. it stayed there like that for quite some time.

i know that i have included quite a few shots here and you may find this pretty boring but i was totally captivated and took more than 200 shots while watching this all happen . . . you should be able to click on any one of the shots to see details if you are so inclined. i have tried to include various perspectives for those who may be as fascinated as i was.

by this time even i was beginning to get a bit bored and it seemed to be wandering about quite a bit so i expected that it would eventually fly away . . .

and it probably did. my attention was back on the edge of the pond momentarily . . .

when i happened to notice this little swimmer. upon looking closely i thought that it looked quite a bit like the insect that i had rescued earlier. but there were a few differences . . . such as i couldn't see wings and the tail end of it had three long whisker like bits rather than two AND it seemed to be swimming about quite proficiently . . .
the shot isn't as clear partially because it's actually under the water but if you look closely you will see the differnces too.
i was pondering these differences and wondering what i was seeing when suddenly this little "being" bobbed straight up to the surface and split wide open and flew away~!!~ all of that took a split second and i was quite startled by the whole event.

and this empty bit of outer shell was all that was left . . . floating on the water . . .
i'm guessing that the first one just didn't have quite as successful of a launch and once it's wing was wet it was in trouble. the second one flew quickly off, up and away . . .
check out those ultra tiny hairs on the whiskery end bits. no wonder it was such a good swimmer while still in the "shell"~!!~
i'm so very delighted that we have this life cycle in our pond and that i have now seen a part of it that i had never seen before~!!~and with my camera at the ready, no less~!~
it's a mayfly~Ephemeroptera~!!!~
i have such terrific readers~!!~THANK YOU all for your interest and support and for the wonderful additional information that you have contributed.
Eileen of Keeping it Rural in Wisconsin (http://ruralwisconsin.blogspot.com/ ) has added: http://www.earthlife.net/insects/ephemer.html
****by the way: don't you just love the latin word for it~!!!?!!!!~ Ephemeroptera . . .
definately going on my list~!~


  1. Wow! What a sturdy little bug! How amazing that you watched it happen (the shedding of the shell!) I'm so glad you had your camera ready!

  2. Hi libbyQ! Some more GREAT shots! You should apply for a job with National Geographic!

    The bug looks like some I've seen before but I just can't remember what they're called. Not dragonflies. Seems to me they have an extremely short lifespan - like 24 hours after hatching. They hatch near water - do their egg-laying thing and then fall back into the water (likely becoming fish food). The circle of life in action.


  3. Aha! I found it - they're mayflies! http://www.earthlife.net/insects/ephemer.html


  4. That's pretty cool. I have never seen a dragonfly emerge. It is so small.

  5. Very very cool! Don't you love it when that kind of serendipitous moment occurs? Fabulous photos.

    Based on those tail bits, I'm pretty sure it's a mayfly, not a dragonfly.

    Here are some pictures:

    and here's a larva:

  6. good morning to you all and thank you for visiting and leaving so many nice and informative comments~!~!

    i'm going to see what i can do about including the links within the body of the post so that others can click and learn (don't ya just love the internet~!!~).

    yes~!~yes~!~YES~!!~ i felt so lucky to see this AND have my camera ready~!!!!!!!!~ i'm going to be watching for more but judging by the way the second mayfly just burst forth; up and away, i have my doubts that this will be repeated . . .

    hhhhmmmmmm . . . National Geo photographer . . . now that would be a real dream job~!!~ do you suppose that they would supply me with a better camera~!?!~


  7. Fascinating story in pictures. And what a steady hand you must have Libby, to get that first shot! Best wishes. Lesley

  8. Mayflies have a very cool life history, and have been an indicator of health in the Lake Erie region. But when the lake is healthy and the mayfly are abundant, they're a major nuisance for that area as they emerge (and die) in the millions! [I did a fair amount of reading on them (the Lake Erie ones) last year for a curriculum project]

  9. so glad that you enjoyed the post Lesley~!~ as you probably aready have figured out i was more than excited and quite surprised that my hands were as steady as the pictures indicate.

    jonskifarms; THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for the interesting links that you provided as well as your comments~!!~ they certainly make the post much more interesting to read and discover~!!~
    i am hoping that this recent discovery in my pond indicates good health and a positive and active biological cycle. i did not see millions (thank goodness~!) but that i seen it happen at all must be a good sign.


  10. Wow! You are a great photografer !!!!!!

  11. Gunnel you are way too kind~!~ but i'm glad that you enjoyed your visit to my blog and the photos i took.



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