This is the same dragonfly from post #15, but I’ve learned something new.
Looking back to that day sitting on that dock watching dragonflies that day in Colorado wondering since it was a man-made pond which looked to have dropped in volume lately, and a two-meter swath of mustard colored moss formed the border between the deep green middle of the pond, and the steep shore. This moss seemed to be an algae bloom forming over the warmer water in the shallower edge of the pond. Cyanobacteria are often associated with algal blooms, turning the water toxic. Some cyanobacteria become airborne when breezes sweep across the pond’s surface. The erratic darting of the dozen darners patrolling the surface of the moss carpet in wide circles, suggested that they were hunting gnats too small for me to see. What if they were also pulling bacteria from the air with their wings? Recent advancement in microscope technology has exposed researchers to the nano-structures on each dragonfly wing. These ten billion ‘fingers’ trap air-borne bacteria with such a tight grip that the bacteria destroy themselves trying to escape.
One darner flew too close to the surface, the algae catching its left front wing and pulling it down. I was able to bring it to shore with a long pole. I delicately freed it from the algae and cleaned its wings which I didn’t know at the time, were covered with the tiny corpses of dangerous bacteria.