I was walking along a roadside field on one of my lunchtime photography excursions when a big insect flew up from the grass. It buzzed loudly and flew very erratically, landing back in the grass not far from where it had emerged.
I couldn’t identify it from the brief glimpse I had, so I took a step closer to get a better look. Again it took off into the air, careening wildly away, then directly at me, then back and off to the left, landing back in the grass once again.
The large, noisy wings and bizarre flight techniques made me think it might be a cicada, but I still hadn’t been able to see it well. So I crept forward, camera zoomed out and ready. I got closer and finally was able to identify my U.F.O.
It was a green dragonfly. The head and thorax – complete with wings and legs – were intact, but it was missing an abdomen. Since it was both near a field and close to the road, I theorized it either had a close call with a hungry bird or a car antenna.