Rescue 9-1-1

On one of my recent kayak outings, I was quietly sitting in the kayak waiting for some wildlife action. As I sat there, I heard a faint “buzzing” sound coming from the side of the kayak. Looking over the side, I saw a male Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis) lying on the water and unable to fly. I don’t know how he got into that predicament, unless he wasn’t paying attention to where he was flying! Feeling sorry for the little guy, I looked inside the kayak for something to help scoop him from the water. The only thing I could find that was handy was my glasses case (yeh, those dreaded “readers”).

I leaned over the side of the kayak and gently sat him on the kayak, thinking that he’d dry off and then be able to again fly. But the little guy was determined to make an immediate exit. He valiantly tried to fly up, but the only place that got him was back in the water! Out came the glasses case, again. Scooped him back out and again placed him on the kayak. I then grabbed my point/shoot camera to get a quick shot of him sitting on the kayak:

Eastern Pondhawk male

My point/shoot camera has a “1 cm macro” setting, which allows me to get within 1cm (a tad under 1/2 inch, if my math is correct) of the subject, so I was able to get a great macro shot of him on the kayak. Seeing the “grin” on his face, I don’t know if this was a “thank you” smile, or maybe he was just a little embarrassed of “falling into the drink” twice! In either case, he contentedly sat on the kayak for about 5 minutes before flying off as if nothing ever happened!

Whenever I go out to kayak, I always envision something new and exciting happening during the outing … and usually it does. But I never envisioned playing “Rescue 9-1-1” to a dragonfly!

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