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Tuesday, November 6, 2012


During our childhood we used to run after butterflies. Occasionally we used to succeed catching them (without the net). At that time we learnt that the patterns/colours in their wings would get transferred on to our finger tips instantly when caught. However their sheen would also vanish. Since we were too young, we were not into collecting them and it was simply for fun. After some time our attention was drawn towards a different kind of flying creature which was equally beautiful. They were dragonflies/damselflies and  were easier to catch. When caught we used to have a weight lifting competition. Each one of us would make one’s dragonfly sit on a small pebble. When lifted up, the dragonfly would have the pebble underneath. We will snatch the small pebble and make it to sit over a larger one. Every one of us would do the same with the fly in their hands. This goes on and at the end we decide as to which one lifted the heaviest pebble. That one will be the winner and then it is freed to fly away. Other dragon flies undergo a second phase of torture. A 5 feet thread is tied to the tail of each one of them.  They are released to fly keeping the other end in our hands.  The one which  flies higher is declared the winner. They remain suspended in air for not being able to move forward and after some time they seek the ground, fully exhausted. We used to release them thereafter either by untying the thread or cutting it close to the tail. 

Certainly we were very cruel to those harmless creatures but at that time our pleasure seemed to be more paramount than the pains the creature were subjected to. Today while I was roaming about in our village home, I came across many dragon flies of various hues flying around. That enabled me to live in the past for a while remembering the childhood days. When the trance was over, I picked up my small camera and went after them.

Similar to Butterflies, the Dragonflies too have a life cycle, Egg, Nymph and the Adult stage. Eggs are dropped in still water bodies where they hatch and turn to a Nymph. The Nymph sustains itself by eating smaller insects etc. and said to live up to four years in that stage and then the metamorphosis takes place. The dragon fly emerges and flies away in search of food in the open. Many of us could have observed Dragonflies hovering over water bodies. Factually they are endeavoring to find a suitable locale to lay their eggs.

Here is a chart which depicts the life cycle of a Dragonfly.


  1. Wow that was very informative with some lovely photographs!

  2. Excellent clicks and useful information about the dragonflies.


  3. aah dragon flies!!
    whenever I went to my ancestral village in childhood, used to do the same, tie up dragon flies with thread!!

    im so fascinated with these creates that I want to get myself a dragon fly tattoo!! :)


  4. lovely photos, PNS... i never played with them, though i remember some boys in our area doing so.. i used to love looking at them, esp due to their beautiful colours.. and still do :D

  5. wow . i see your hindi blog . but this is also beautiful post and blog

  6. Reminds me too of the cruelty we subjected them. Tie a string and allow it to fly etc. it gives me shivers, recalling the cruelty. Nice snaps PNS sab.

  7. yeah as kids I was cruel too, catch it and tie it to thread and let it fly .. it was like a kite ..

    Those are some beautiful pics.. awesome enjoyed them alll


  8. Ah, the things we do in our childhood... they can sometimes look so silly after growing up. Such a beautiful nostalgic post with gripping narration, enjoyed it very much.

  9. Interesting..! You must have had a good work out chasing this fellow..! (lol)!

  10. Pavam dragon flies. haven't heard abt the thread being tied t its tail.
    Pics are superb PNS.

  11. Amazing! I had never seen so much variety before.

  12. I am reminded of my childhood days... lovely post and yes very informative too.

  13. Hello, P.N. Subramanian.

      Your exquisite work leads my impression.
      The passion for the art.  It is universal.

      Thank you visit to my garden.
      The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good weekend. From Japan, ruma❃

  14. great informative post...

    good photos...

    happy diwali...


  15. amazing collection of snaps...not easy to catch them with the lens!

  16. Dear PNS

    Onam is feast time for the eyes too. The flowering wild plants attract butterflies and dragon flies. Sights of dragonflies swinging on a leaf is really a visual treat.

    Amazing collection of photos.. Sampath

  17. Excellent photographs, Sir, and quite informative too.

  18. thumbi thumbi tullan vayo..and thumbi vaa thuma kudathin
    the song comes to my lips

  19. S K Pottekkad has writtn in one of his famous works 'Balidweep' about meeting a group of boys in Bali,engaged in dragon fly hunting. They trap them with sticky rods (jackfruit gum, pluck off their wings, pierce them alive and EAT.