Dragonfly emergency

A dragonfly emerges from its exuvia, the old skin that it will soon leave behind

Dragonfly molt

A freshly molted dragonfly stretches its wings

On these hot summer days, I get a strong impulse to turn into an aquatic mammal and spend the bulk of my waking hours in the water. While indulging this urge with a refreshing swim in the Hudson River, I noticed a creature with an instinctual compulsion in the opposite direction. One by one, muddy insect nymphs crawled from their underwater habitat and climbed up the rough-hewn stones of the Lighthouse base. Once out of the water, each one molted and burst out of its old skin. Warming to the new environs, each slowly unfolded a translucent and lacy membrane from its thorax. The transformation complete, they launched into the air as winged-beings. This metamorphosis happened right before our eyes.