Antenna Decoration

Dragonfly on antenna
Dragonfly on antenna

This dragonfly decided that the tip of the 2 m / 70 cm antenna on Mary’s bike was the best  place around to survey the area; it periodically zipped off to snag a meal, then returned to stand watch again.

Those wraparound compound eyes don’t miss much!

Dragonfly on antenna - detail
Dragonfly on antenna - detail

A few weeks ago, a much larger dragonfly bounced off my helmet and snagged itself in the delay line coil near the middle of the antenna: the dragonfly’s head slid 1/4 turn around the coil and latched firmly in place. Amid much buzzing of wings and thrashing of legs, I managed to unscrew the poor critter, whereupon it flew off undamaged.

8 thoughts on “Antenna Decoration

  1. Yeah, they like to perch on vertical objects. I took advantage of this once when I saw one hovering near me. I offered it my finger, held vertically, and it soon landed there. I have a (blurry) picture of this somewhere.

    1. a (blurry) picture of this somewhere

      I wish I had a picture of the one stuck in the antenna on my bike, but wow was it thrashing around! Better to release it quickly, than to fiddle around with the camera while it damaged itself. An impressive critter; even though I know they’re innocuous (to me, anyway), it took a major effort of will to shove all that excitement around the coil.

  2. Better he landed there of his own accord than getting trapped in a vent in your helmet!

    Bit of a coincidence, your post… I was just returning from a trip north to visit my Dad and was listening to a podcast he recommended for me–Way With Words–and the one episode I chose at random to download and listen on the long drive had a feature discussing dragonflies.

    Kurt (a lurker who’s just revealing his presence)

    1. getting trapped in a vent in your helmet!

      A long time ago, back when bike helmets were new, a wasp or bee flew right into a vent and jammed against my hair. Fortunately, my hair was thicker then, too, and I managed to undo the helmet strap and toss it into the adjacent field before braking to a stop, without getting stung in the process.

      Getting clobbered by a big dragonfly was an experience I don’t want to repeat, either.

      Welcome into the circle around the fire; drag up a chair and tell us tales…

      1. I had a gigantic horse fly crash into the top of my shades, mortally wounding it in the process and spreading blood, presumably from a cow or horse, all over my face. As if that weren’t bad enough, the fly itself somehow ended up in my right eye after its collision with my shades, twitching against my eye with its pricker while I frantically tried to find some kind of handkerchief to remove it from my eye. Remarkably, although I was rather panicked due to the moving insect covering my entire field of vision, it actually barely hurt at all compared to some various small gnats that decided to collide with my eye over the years. Once I managed to get it out, and gathered just how big it was, aside from some tearing that was about the end of it.

        1. various small gnats

          Yeah, they get really nasty when they’re trapped inside glasses / goggles / eyewear! Can’t say as I blame ’em, but I don’t waste any time deporting them without damage…

        2. I haven’t really had any experiences with bugs while wearing shades (except for the one I described in my earlier reply). It’s when I don’t wear them that it’s open season on my eyes for suicidal kamikaze bugs. ;)

          1. It’s when I don’t wear them

            I need prescription glasses to see much beyond the end of my nose, so I must wear glasses of some sort all the time. Of late, I’ve been biking with bifocal sunglasses under wraparound goggles that seal to my face, which eliminates the grit-and-dust problem I’d been having. The goggles are too sweaty, too ugly, and too imposing, but I’ll put up with all that to not get more corneal abrasions.

            I’d love to ride minus helmet and goggles, but life just doesn’t work that way any more …

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