Skip Navigation LinksOdes For Beginners : How to Watch Odonates : Cautions

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Hey, it's a jungle out there!
Seriously, have a great time but be aware of potential hazards.

After four years of observing dragonflies, I have been in so many potentially dangerous situations that I felt a need to write this page.  So, I will advise you to go on your dragonfly expeditions with a companion.  If this isn't possible, at least carry a cell phone and whistle with you.  Notify someone where you are going and when you will return.  All of this may sound silly, but take it from someone who has been there, this can be serious business.


Cute YES, cuddy NO.  Don't get in between the mother and her cubs, she will do anything to protect them.

If you encounter a bear, do not run nor stare in the eyes.  Put your arms above your head in a slow movement looking bigger than what you are and make noise.

Don't carry food into the woods with you nor use it as a diversion tactic to ward off a bear.


Don't venture into unfamiliar waters, you could be surprised!

BEWARE - ALLIGATOR INFESTED WATERS   Look first for any "posted signs" that might give you a clue of what might be lurking in there. And remember these guys don't just swim in water, but lay basking on shorelines among high reeds and other vegetation not highly visible.

courtesy Greg Lasley

Most snakes will try to avoid you, and you'll be lucky to see one, but some of them can ruin your whole day if you don't use sensible precautions. Use extra caution when you are in snake country, watch where you step and where you put your hands.

If bitten, do not attempt to suck out venom, but remain quiet and call for help. The more excited you get, the faster the venom will move throughout your system causing symptoms to appear almost immediately.   Remember, it is important that you remember what the snake looked like, it's color, did it have a rattle, a viper shaped head, and the location of it, water, under rocks, hill country etc.  This will enable the physicians  to administer the proper anti-venom without delay.

Summer is the prime time for tick bites.  If a tick happens to carry a virus, bacterium, or protozoan when it bites you, it can transmit the disease causing organisms causing such illnesses as Rock Mountain spotted fever and Lyme Disease to just name a few.

Here's what you can do to protect yourself:

  • Choose wider trails and take PRECAUTION when seeing posted signs (LEFT) warning you about deer tick infested areas.
  • Avoid crawling trough brush.
  • Wear clothes that are light in color and made of smooth materials.
  • Mosquito repellents partially ward off ticks, and should be applied to those parts of the skin where clothes end (wrists, ankles, neck) or spray on clothes if they are in the form of a spray.

After returning home, but also during the trip, you should immediately check yourself and others for ticks, if you find one remove it right away lessening your changes for getting bit.

Some things to be aware of when venturing into unknown waters:

Sink Holes - small or large holes sometimes filled with water, some are barely noticeable underfoot, until you're in one. Some are small enough to break your leg, some can swallow you up. Some may just appear as muddy areas but once in one, you could sink a few feet.


Many a human and animal has been taken by the "bog monster".  Bogs are an eerie place to visit and are usually located in isolated areas.  These wetlands are unstable habitats and should be avoided or at least ventured into with a partner.  Bogs tremble beneath ones feet.  If you put too much weight or jump up and down on a quaking bog too hard, you'll plunge down into the brown bloody looking waters.  The good news is, that because of the acidic content of the water, your body will be preserved for a good two hundred and some years.


Slippery Rocks
Green algae covered rocks and gravel found in streams and rivers, some visibly sticking out of the water and some invisible, pose serious hazard.  I cannot count the instances I have seen people take a cold dip in the water and sustain breaks and lacerations as well as embarrassment and damage to expensive photographic and optical equipment.  Wear proper footwear, preferably a rubber soled shoe with good traction.

Now that you are aware of some of the hazards you may encounter, use common sense, be alert and GO OUT THERE AND HAVE FUN!

© 2019 Sheryl Chacon Search