What on earth inspired the title of today’s blog you may wonder.  As always our research has lead us to some interesting information and in case you haven’t already guessed from the photo below, the Devil’s Darning Needle is one of the many names given to the humble dragonfly!  Apparently there’s a myth that says that if children are naughty dragonflies will seek them out at night and sew their mouths together with their claspers.

In fact there are loads of myths and legends around dragonflies, perhaps because of their light, mystical and magical qualities.  Stories and poems abound about them as well and they are even used in tales for eulogies and grief counselling.  They certainly seem to elicit an enormous amount of attention for such small insects.

On a happier note, we’ve been camping twice in January (aren’t we lucky!) and have been privileged to see many beautiful dragonflies around our campsites and at the dams.  They aren’t always easy to photograph so it’s especially rewarding when you manage to get a half decent shot of one.

They are worse than birds when it comes to staying still long enough to photograph them and this is because they have these enormous compound eyes with about 30 000 lenses that cover a 360 degree area.  They actually sense more than they see so if you approach them they fly off.  Sometimes you get lucky though!

I’m not even going to try and write about all the interesting facts and myths surrounding dragonflies as there is THE most amazing website covering absolutely everything you’d ever want to know about them – the Dragonfly Site.  Do pay it a visit and prepare to be enchanted learning all about these beautiful little creatures.


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Jane is an avid birder and nature enthusiast, whose deep love for travel, camping and exploring the natural world knows no bounds. Assisted by her nature-loving husband, Rob, a skilled photographer, they form a dynamic duo dedicated to visiting remote and breathtaking landscapes. With their camera lenses as their creative instruments, they capture the beauty of birds and wildlife, all while advocating tirelessly for conservation.

2 Responses

  1. blank Colin Beale says:

    Just found your blog – very nice! The only thing missing on that website is how to ID these African species! I recognise a few of the ones you’ve got here. You might like the links in a blog I did on Tanzanian Dragonflies a while ago: http://safari-ecology.blogspot.com/2011/07/dragonflies-and-ways-to-interpret.html Dragonflies on the Safari Ecology Blog.

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