Thursday, August 2, 2012

Humming Birds And Dragonflies

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. (Genesis 2:19-20a NKJV)

My husband, Stan loves to fly r.c. helicopters. He loves to hover and take to flight. It's a nice way to start the day~ a cuppa coffee, a still morning, no bugs to bite or sting us, and watching him fly his r.c.'s in our front yard.

Another thing that's  really cool is when humming birds and dragon flies come to watch. The hum of the r.c. motor must attract them as they come to see what in the world is flying around in their territory.

About as long as a man's thumb  and about as light as a pencil, the hummingbird is the smallest of birds and indeed one of the smallest of warm-blooded animals. (The bee hummingbird is only about two inches long, and half of its length is its bill and tail!) The hummingbird is named for the humming sound its wings make when it flies. It can flap its wings up to 90 times a second and can hover in mid air.

It is the only bird that can fly both forwards and backwards and even upside down! It can reach a speed of sixty miles an hour! The ruby-throat hummingbird migrates more than 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico every year in a nonstop flight. Others have been known to go more than 2000 miles. How can such a tiny bird do so very much?

The hummingbird has a quite an appetite. It must eat almost constantly to produce enough energy to hover and fly. Its heart rate can climb to ten beats a second when hovering and feeding.

Hummingbirds eat nectar as well as insects which they sometimes catch in mid air. They are helpful to the flowers from which they feed as they transfer the pollen which gets on their heads from flower to flower. When the weather is colder, a hummingbird can lower its body temperature, slow its breathing, and heart rate.

Another regular visitor when Stan flies are dragonflies.
I think dragonflies are probably the one of the most beautiful of the flying insects. There are about 4,500 different varieties. They begin their life in water, where eggs hatch into rather ugly brown nymphs. The time spent living in water varies from a few weeks to several years, but for all the varieties the day comes when the nymph suddenly has the urge to climb out of the water. It sits for a while at the top of a piece of grass until its skin splits open and out comes a dragonfly! After waiting for its wings to become firm and dry, the dragonfly flies away, its lovely colours glinting in the sunshine.

Although they are very small, dragonflies are wonderfully designed for flying. Their two pairs of wings are very light, but strengthened by a network of tiny veins, which not only carry blood fluid to keep the wings stiff, but also nerves and oxygen. Some dragonflies beat their wings 40 times in one second! Dragonflies are like tiny helicopters—they can even fly backwards! In fact, Igor Sikorsky, who first designed helicopters, for the idea from watching dragonflies.

Another wonderful thing about dragonflies is their eyes. Each pair of eyes is actually made up of as many as 30,000 separate eyes, each with its own lens! This enables the insect to see what is happening over a wide area, and spot every tiny movement without moving its head.

The supposedly oldest fossil dragonflies are just like dragonflies are now, except that they were much larger—75 centimeters (2.5 feet) from wing-tip to wing-tip! So there is no evidence that they evolved from ancestors without wings. And surely those amazing eyes did not evolve?

Dragonflies are another of the many wonders of God’s creation.

Thank You, Lord for the grace gifts of dragonflies and hummingbirds and r.c helicopters on a summer's day.

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