07 July 2009

the ode

My dear mother has adapted well to a biologically inclined daughter. She no longer calls anything a "seagull" because if she can't call it a Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), she has to call it a "Larid species." For butterflies, unidentified, they are "Lepidopterids" and our beloved dragons and damsels are "Odonates." So to honor the Odes of Texas, I'd like to introduce some of the carnivorous little friends we saw at Lake Waco Wetlands in June.

Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina)

Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia), male. These were both actually taken through my binoculars, so apologies for the quality!

As my own understanding of Odonates is so horribly limited, I will have to just apologize for the next two shots. They're rather diminutive, even for damsels, with tootpick-sized bodies and less than gaudy features. The subtle colors could have something to do with sexual dimorphism or just great camo.

At least the bird and bug worlds are similar in applying easy labels to relatively abundant and easily distinguishable species - there are some remarkably charismatic odes out there.


  1. birds are still "birds" and bugs are to be squashed, spiders count as bugs, but they are to be relocated - but only b/c they eat bugs - unless they are in the bedroom then they get squashed too.

    and when in doubt, EVERY bird is a sea gull, wire hawk, birdie, or dinner.

    clearly your sister is no as open to a biologically inclined sibling as your mother is to a biologically inclined daughter.

  2. Your son wants his rattlesnake.