The Flying Dead

I’ve said before that I come home-home every two years and each time there is something new. So far the list includes Salted Caramel ice cream, a lion, daily ballet sessions with my sister and, now, dragonflies. Swarms of dragonflies – millions of them, it seemed – especially around dusk. Last week, when I tried to take a picture of the full blue moon, I never got a shot without the little black blurs of dragonflies flying through my frame. Then three days ago, we noticed more of them doing strange things, flying in pairs, resting on sidewalks, flying into the porch and hanging from walls or the ceiling.

 

                          

Yesterday, when I came out in the morning with my first cup of coffee of the day in hand, I found the floor of the porch littered with dead dragonflies. As I sit here today, I don’t see a single one.

All of this got everyone in the house researching the life cycle of dragonflies. I learned that the ones we were seeing were called “Darners” – which might come from the old wives’ tale that they sew the eyes of naughty children shut in the night. We learned that they mate while flying – and I can’t think of another species offhand with that enviable talent. We witnessed for ourselves how they made big detours around people, how they darted around like hummingbirds, how they ate up all the flies and mosquitoes. All in all, if I ever got to choose which plague I had to suffer through, I would choose the dragonfly.

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