Sunday, July 02, 2006

Leaves, Dragonflies and Small "Stuff"

From many perspectives, I suppose yesterday could have been considered a "ho hum" day, but from my own, it was magical and soothing and just what I needed. On the way out to the Lanark Highlands, we stopped on the roadside, looking out over a favourite vista of forests, valleys, farms and pine trees, and we marveled once again at the astonishing view before us. After several days of rain, the world was green as far as the eye could see. Streams and ponds which are usually dried up by the beginning of July are running freely again, and they are making madcap summer music.

When we arrived on our own high rocky hill a few minutes later, there was brilliant sunshine and there were blue skies above us, but thunderheads were already rolling in, there was a metallic edgy tang of ozone in the air, and we knew there was another storm in the offing. There is something invigorating about an approaching thunderstorm, all that natural power building up in the great beyond and then cutting loose in the landscape with gusto. Invent, design and build what we will, humanity have a long way to go before we can equal the clout and the sheer joyous oomph of a summer storm. Stormy weather has a way of reducing us to our proper and insignificant stature in the natural scheme of things.

In Lanark, the milkweed is beginning to bloom, and there were butterflies, dragonflies and goldfinches darting about in the clear air on the hill and availing themselves of the smorgasboard before them. I lost count of the various dragonflies I saw yesterday morning, but there were many: darners, clubtails, emeralds, pondhawks, whitetails, meadowhawks and numerous skimmers, including this female Widow Skimmer.

A day spent on leaves and dragonflies is a day well spent. Oh, they are small things to be sure, but they have a lustre and transcendency all their own, and life (after all) is made up largely of such small and shining things. One of the tasks which I have set for myself this summer is to continue to appreciate the forest in its entirety, but to make time for the myriad small precious elements of which it is composed. At the rate I am going, I shall never make it to the back fence line as I am finding so many small wonders to look at along the way.


jzr said...

Small is awesome!!

Tabor said...

Both of these photos are so lovely tht I just had to pause and study them before reading the blog.

Anonymous said...

as always a journey to your words brings me great peace........aisling