Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jewel in the Summer Wind

Female Halloween Pennant
(Celithemis eponina)

Swaying back and forth in the wind yesterday as I tried to capture this glorious creature on my memory card, I remembered something from many moons ago, and it made me smile. Who knows what recess of the old noggin the memory had been hiding in?

On a fine summer day long past, I was poking about on the school playground at noon and saw a gorgeous golden dragonfly.  When it flew off into the nearby woods, I followed it hoping for a closer look, and enchanted by the legions of gilded Odonata swooping and swirling through the air in a clearing, I sat down with my back against a tree to watch them for a few minutes and forgot about the time.  I didn't remember to go back to class until almost the end of the school day, and the nuns were not amused - I vaguely remember being expelled for a day or two and a letter being sent home to my embarrassed and apologetic parents.  A whole bag of adjectives peppered their reprimand to me at the time: wild, unruly, thoughtless, disobedient, intractable.

Plus ca change, plus ca reste le meme... Fast forward fifty years, and here I am in the woods on another summer day, being chewed by bugs and happy as a clam at high water - I'm well past sixty now and to quote the great Paul Simon, still crazy after all these years.  I'm still enchanted by dragonflies and breathless every time I encounter one, still following them into the trees at every opportunity, still thankful that the Old Wild Mother creates such wonders and I am around to see them. I rather think that the dragonfly which so enchanted me that day was the wondrous winged entity pictured above.

I have a better camera now though, and I no longer need a darkroom.  I could never have taken anything like these images with the Brownie Bullet that was my constant companion when I was just a tadpole learning the timeless arts of truancy, and I always seemed to be penniless then, having spent my meager pocket money on film for that dear little Kodak box camera.


the wild magnolia said...

You have been consistently you, all of your life. Those who are true to themselves seem to see further and travel longer. They find more wonder, because they are looking!

Wonderful remembrance and magical dragonfly Jewel!

Thank you, for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What the wild magnolia said ... all I can add is that obedience is vastly overrated.

bev said...

Halloween Penannts are among my favourite of the Odonata. I would hav been easile led astray by them too. Your photos are absolutely exquisite, Cate!

bev from JTTC

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photo and I so enjoyed the story that goes with it.

ZenDotStudio said...

Those wings are stunning! Great story and lucky you to still be crazy after all these years! Happy wandering!

Sky said...

have never seen these, but i would love to! extraordinary. thanks for sharing.