Big dragonfly, tiny spider web

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last week I took this photo of a dragonfly that was buzzing in the grass near a pond. As I approached it and photographed it, I could see that it had caught its feet in a spider's web. There was no spider to be seen.

Sometimes a small spider will catch a large insect in its web that the web can't realistically hold. In this case the dragonfly had almost destroyed the web and had frightened the spider away.

It is possible that the dragonfly might eventually escape the web on its own. Or it might die still hanging in the web and the spider might return.

A third option might be that a snake, bird or frog will find the helpless dragonfly and reap an easy meal.

But upon observing that the dragonfly appeared to be physically unharmed, I did what I hoped someone might do for me if I was in a similar situation. I carefully released the dragonfly from the spider's sticky threads.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.

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