Some Dragons Should Not Be Slain

 Red-veined darter

Red-veined darter

I have a special liking for dragonflies for some reason. I used to be afraid of them … that old wives’ tale that they’d sew up your lips. I’ve written about them before and I mention these gossamer-winged critters now because the population of dragonflies here at the Atlantic Yacht Basin is quite large. They tend to live near water and the Elizabeth River seems to be a choice location for them.

 Blue darter

Blue darter

There is a small canal lined with tall grasses beside the dock. We can watch the dragonflies flit about and hunt throughout the day. Sometimes, they come aboard for a quick visit and with a bit of coaxing, they’ll gladly light on your hand. Mostly, however, they perch on slender reeds of grass along the canal and wait patiently for lunch to cross their paths

 Green darner on the dock

Green darner on the dock

They come in a rainbow assortment of colors … blue, red, green, yellow, even pink and watching a flash of red or green dart by my nose as I’m walking up the dock sometimes catches me by surprise. Though harmless to humans, I’ve read that they are voracious predators eating other insects, especially mosquitoes. Hats off to dragonflies. I’m a firm advocate of slaying dragons … just not these guys.

 Roseate skimmer

Roseate skimmer