Spring, On The Wing

A Halloween pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) clasps the tip of a plant known as rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium) on the Nash prairie

 

Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.
                                “The Dragon-Fly” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson (1833)

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

A Close Encounter Of The Lady Bug Kind

Spotless Lady Beetle (Cycloneda sanguinea)

Even as I puddled along at twenty miles an hour, the tiny spot of red, shining in the midst of a landscape turned sere by time and frost, compelled my attention.

Assuming I’d come across a last flower of summer, I stopped and walked across the ditch, where I discovered not a flower, but an insect commonly known as a lady bug. Both spotless and shy, he seemed unwilling to pose for a portrait, and scurried into the depths of the plant on which I’d found him.

For ten minutes we played hide-and-seek, until he emerged onto a leaf for a bit of a rest.

Then, he was off again. Why he preferred running to flying I don’t know, but he was both speedy and determined: never pausing again as long as I watched.

At last, turning to face me before one last run for cover, he showed off the markings that identified him as a male (a white cleft above the head and a white face), then disappeared.

Despite years of lady bug watching, collecting, admiring, and enjoying, I never had looked beyond their colorful wing covers. Next time, given better photographic skills or a more cooperative lady beetle, I may achieve a crisper image. But for now, I have a face to put with that distinctive red body, and it’s a face that even a human can love.

 

Comments always are welcome.