X-wing Drones of Goose Creek Airspace

Adult Male Widow Skimmer / Still capture off Sony Handycam 260v

They look almost robotic–and yes, I know somebody–DARPA I think–is deploying robot-drone dragonfly-like spy devices. But I don’t expect that any of these came from anywhere but the cold waters of Nameless and Goose Creeks.

We have more than our share of dragonflies, and as I stood in the pasture yesterday trying to concentrate on the few who were perched nearby resting to have their picture taken, I was very thankful for the dozens who were still on patrol just over my head.

This constant patrol of drones is our only hope for relief from the pesky deer flies (biting sucking relatives of horseflies) that descend on our bare necks every time we leave the house. Necks are almost always collared, or a bandana tied ’round, and a wide brimmed hat also helps. But we really depend on the dragonflies for pest control.

Female Widow Skimmer ~ Nature facsimile via ArtRage for iPad ~ by Fred First

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Absolutely gorgeous photo!! How cool that you can choose a frame from your video that is the perfect shot. Allen has yet to work on that skill with his new camera. Your painting is fun and charming, too.
    You guys are really going to have fun with the capabilities of your new cameras. Fantastic hobby, photography, in this digital era.