Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why Did The Dragonfly Niad Cross The Road ?

I noticed a dragonfly excising its chrysalis last week. Nothing out of the ordinary to see a dragonfly nymph/niad popping out of its immature skin to set its wings out and take on the world. However this one was on the curb of a road.


The road was on top of a dam separating Lake Audubon from the tailwater stream that forms when water exits the lake via a drain, goes under the dam, and trickles out the other side. Here is a Google map.



The dragonfly could have come from either the lake (left | closer) or the stream (right | further).
The dragonfly would have had to climb a hill, a shorter yet steep one on the lake side, or a huge 45 degree angle hill on the other. A hill that winds me to climb. Thus the stream side being a less plausible source of this bug. However, this bug was on the curb side of the lake.

Here is a close up map with the area of detail in red.

Why would the bug have crawled up the smaller hill, down the curb, and then back up the same curb to shuck? I propose that this bug was on a mission of sorts. To prove its bad ass status in nature. This bug crawled out of the stream, up the 45 degree angled hill (assuming it took a straight course) down the curb, across the street, and up the curb. And it did this with out being eaten. That means this bug had to travel at least 100 yards through foot tall grass, dodge traffic, and birds, lizards, snakes, etc. 
Why did the bug not molt on one of the myriad grass stems on the other side of the road? I have no idea. Why not on the curb on that side or even the metal guard rail?

In this photo you can see the distance from bug to the lake. The dragonfly is that dark strand on the curb in the center.

Just one of the cool things I found in nature that I thought I would share with y'all.

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