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DRAGONFLIES DAZZLE WITH THEIR AERODYNAMICS AND COLORS POETRY IN MOTION The Blue Dasher Story and Photos By Fran Palmeri Contributing Writer Dance, O dragonflies, In your world Of the setting sun. Japanese Haiku, author unknown It's been a real Florida summer. Heavy rains have flooded fields and filled ditches. "The mosquitoes are bad!" people are saying, but dragonflies think otherwise. Mosquitoes and other pests such as "no see ums" are tops on their menu. On park trails, the dragonflies and I work in sync. I attract bugs; they clear them out — na- ture's pest control in action. Do I worry about a collision? Never. Two multifaceted eyes wrapped around their heads like helmets give dragonflies the ability to see in all directions at once, and two pairs of wings, each separately powered, provide extraordinary maneuverability. Dragonflies have been clocked at 90 mph, but their speed averages around 30. Eagles instill flights of fancy in us. Dragonflies remind us how earth-bound we are. Back and forth, up and down, doing handstands in the air, they are aerial acrobats we humans can only admire, never emulate.

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