Madam - Dragon flyNow, this isn’t strictly speaking about Indian English.

Mind you, neither was my diatribe on dust and that ran to three parts. But that was at least cultural information, or geographical, at least.

This is more a ‘well, I didn’t know that’ sort of post.

You see, in the fancy apartment complex I live in there are lovely ornamental pools running about all over the place. Or there usually are lovely pools, they seem to be under some unfathomable restoration at the moment. Sometimes they’re full of water and pebbles and the very next day they’re empty, full of paint and work men and all the pebbles are on the side. Then they’re full, then they’re empty again. No real pattern as far as I can tell – I really should enquire.

Anyway, safe to say, that usually there are lovely pools that flow under the walk ways and cause reflections and sparkly light to dance up the walls. Which is very pretty – though the walkways themselves are something of a tripping hazard. So if you’re wearing heels or have had a few drinks – or even worse both – then you’d best look sharp, or risk having a much closer look at the flowing water than you were expecting.

But assuming you can manage to not fall in, then it’s very charming of a daytime to see the water and watch the dragonflies shimmer past. There were an inordinate amount of them this summer (Feb – May) and they looked beautiful.

They were slightly less beautiful however, when they flew in the terrace doors and got stuck in my room.

The room I work in has a very high curved ceiling with a ribbon of windows that runs round just under the roof, which lets in lots of beautiful light. It is a very nice room but it would appear to be extremely confusing to insect life. In they’d fly and get stuck and to escape they’d fly to the topmost corner of the ceiling and buzz persistently against the glass. That’s a double height ceiling in a large room. There’s no hope of me climbing on a chair and helping them out. I’d need a ladder, and a very long ladder at that.

So there they buzz, till they get so tired they land on the floor and I can gently shuffle them out the door to freedom.

However, turns out that dragonflies are much more persistent than most insects – they’ll buzz against a window for freedom till they die. Bless them for tenacity, but zero points for sense.

And here’s the odd thing – or at least the thing I didn’t know – when dragonfly die they do not fold their wings up and fall out the sky like a paper airplane. No, they die with their wings rigid like tiny little biplanes. And as they’re quite big, at least the width of my hand across, they make a hell of a smacking sound when they hit the floor.

Or the dresser.

Or the bed.

Frankly, pretty as they are dancing over reflecting water, it’s not so much fun having large rigid insects rain on you when you’re not expecting it.

Still, it was new information to me. And so, loyal reader, I bring this fact direct to you.

Dragonflies die in a ‘ready to go’ position.

Who knew?


If you’ve enjoyed this post, then do please check out these other very vaguely related creature based articles:

Eagles on my roof
Crows are the new black
Video : The crow chorus at dusk

And as ever, do please comment below.