We watched this big guy just after he’d emerged from his nymph stage and was drying his wings for several minutes on our lawn. You can find out more about the nymph stage by watching this video on the life cycle of the dragonfly. Let’s just say that the end stage is the best–no more breathing by sucking water into your butt, no more incessant moults, no more stuck in the pond eating whatever scummy thing passes by. At the end stage you can be adopted by the arts and crafts movement, turn up in Navaho jewelry and live it up eating mosquitos by the zillions. Aren’t those compound eyes something? And how about that “mask” (the large hinged lower lip that moves faster than any prey). So, this is my ode to odonata (the Latin species name for dragonflies). And if you want to spend your time watching dragonflies, you would be oding.