The Lovely Dragonflies

This dragonfly is very similar to the ones I photographed for you.

Yesterday evening, as the late-summer sun was setting in a glorious blaze of orange and yellow, a pair of bright-blue dragonflies landed on the rope that supports our tree swing.

They were so beautiful, so enchanting in appearance, that I hurried outside to photograph them so that I could share the moment with you, my friends and family.

Unfortunately, the picture I got looked more like a rectangle filled with opaque black ink than a serene pastoral scene.

This immediately told me in no uncertain terms that my son, Gabe, has once again been tinkering with the settings on my expensive Nikon camera, defying my strict orders not to touch it anymore.

I’m not a violent man, and I’m not a huge fan of corporal punishment, but I honestly wanted to slap him silly. Then I remembered that he’s a 15-year-old hockey player in the peak physical condition of his life and I’m a 50-year-old man who’s spent most of my life sitting in a chair while I type and eat cookies. Concurrently, I also realized that the ensuing flow of my blood and spitting out of my broken teeth would be very unpleasant indeed.

Quite the opposite of what I’d originally intended, in fact.

So, please,  just trust me when I tell you that the dragonflies were lovely.

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66 thoughts on “The Lovely Dragonflies

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    • I’m struggling to make the connection between an “unexpected” tuition bill for 20k, fast Privet student loans and dragonflies. Clearly, I’m not one with the mysterious ways of the Internet.

  2. Cracks me up. The photograph is similar to the one you took for this post. Yeah, sorta like the fish that got away??? No, I believe you. And good thing good sense overcame you at the right moment and you let the camera setting thingy slide.

    • Once in a great while, usually when my personal safety’s involved, I show some good sense. It’s rare, and I really ought to photograph that instead of dragonflies.

  3. I love those things – they come in many “styles”. I’ve never tried to photograph one but we did take a moving film of an Argiope spider spinning her websack by out backdoor – right at window level. Hoping we won’t miss the babies when the come out.

    And the least you could have done was possible shown us something odd about you…some webbed feet, a third nipple, a vestigial tail, something??

    I feel so let down pawning photos of things that mighta looked like the things you looked at. What a gyp.

    An extra toe, perhaps? Priapism?? Ya gotta show us something. We are your adoring masses.

    • There’s nothing unusual about me, and that’s what’s so tragic. If I could point to something and say, “Isn’t that amazingly good looking?” or “Please don’t vomit on my shoes when I show you this!” I’d feel better. I could post a photo of myself, and you’d just say, “Meh.”

      I hate spiders, by the way, and thought of filming one making its egg sack and then watching it hatch makes me shudder.

      • I have to REALLY quit being on the computer after taking Ambien. I seriously did not even remember I commented. I didn’t even know you wrote a new blog.

        Seriously…I need to stop doing this.

        I can’t believe I asked about extra toes, nipples and tails. Geez…

  4. I believe you. We have the same ones here – very small and almost look like they’ve been painted with light blue finger paint.

    Oh, but be sure to teach Gabe how to use the camera so that, if in fact you do slap him silly and he retaliates, he can get a good photo of it! 😉

    • Thanks, Double-O, I’ll pass your sage advice on to my son. Why he can’t leave my stuff alone, I’ll never know.

      I love dragonflies, and we don’t see them that often here in Colorado. It’s too dry or something most years.

  5. The truth of the matter is this. I had this really groovy dragon fly tumbler that I cannot locate now. I bought it at Ross for a small sum as it was on sale. Now, Mike, New Agers, who now believe the end of the world is October 10 of this year versus 2012 put great stock in the meaning of all dragonflies. That insect was trying to tell you something. That message was thwarted by your son who tampered with your camera. Gabe is a meddler from the other team, Mike. You had just better deal with this issue and go get his chakras cleared. I know some specialists but they live mainly out this way in the great PNW, although Boulder seems to have quite a few of these chakra experts. Clear Gabe’s chakras and try to listen to the insect next time. mmmmmmkkkk? Any questions? ROTFLMAO!

    • There are two drawbacks to your suggestion. One, Boulder’s on fire right now and chakra-clearing’s probably not so available. Two, if the world’s ending in less than a month, then I’m not going to spend my money on chakra clearing. I’m going to eat out at some really nice restaurants, and maybe I’ll take a trip somewhere.

      • Boulder being on fire must be the fault of Gabe. Be sure to blame him. Scapegoating is a good role for all developing teenagers. Could you eat some bread sticks at The Olive Garden for me?

        • I would’ve blamed him, but we were in Colorado Springs when it started, so in this one case, I think he’s off the hook.

          Bread sticks? What? I don’t get it.

          • Look, when you go out to eat at The Olive Garden, you eat the salad and the bread sticks and then you flee. Oh, this is only if you have removed your license plates or swapped them with someone else’s as our dearly beloved brother used to do to commit crimes. I didn’t tell you this about him. Even if I did, it’s not true. I am drinking gin. I don’t know what the fuck I am talking about. LMAO (I wish I drank gin)

  6. What kind of camera do you have? Chandler’s super into photography, so I’m trying to understand it a little better for his sake. I feel like it’s a typical boys-and-cars relationship, except I dodged a bullet and its something far less tedious.

    Also I feel like Gabe has been 15 forever. Tell him I said hi, and ask him if he wants a longboard. It’s been sitting in my garage for, um, forever. I don’t know what kind of shape it’s in after a year of not being ridden or particularly looked after (does it constitute abuse if I just left it on a shelf?) but it was brand new minus five or six rides the last time I looked at it.

    It’s an Arbor Waterman Koa. Hopefully that means something to him, because to me it just means that it’s wooden with green paint.

    • It’s a Nikon D60, which has been supplanted in the last year by the D90 and the D5000, which seems like a big jump to me. Photography is cool, so Chandler must be cool. I have a feeling that Chandler and I would get along despite the difference in our ages because we’re both at least a little nerdy. We could take pictures and talk about them and pretend we’re interesting.

      Gabe will be 15 until Oct. 15th, and then he’ll be 38.

      Strange coincidence that you should mention the longboard, which I thought your dad had won about a year ago. Now I’m going to write a post about Gabe and longboards to prove to you what a strange coincidence it is. If you’re around and feel like reading, read it and you’ll see what I mean.

  7. This was so poetic and touching at first that I felt the beginning of tears! Then I kept reading. Dragonflies are such mystical things, but I really don’t want them near me because they might tell me something I don’t want to hear. The world is ending on October 10th? Okay, I’m going shopping! I’m sorry you have that awful fire. Buy Gabe his own camera and charge it. If the world ends, we don’t need to pay the credit card bills.

  8. I’ll have to take your word for it, Mike. As opposed to your picture. I didn’t check. Was that post a thousand words? I wanna make sure we’re getting equal value. You know, a picture’s worth a thousand words. You really should have berated your buff boy. I’d like to have seen what might have developed…

    • No, for once it was less than 1,000 words, which will probably make wonder if I’m about to die or something. And, yes, I am.

      Very punny, NoName. You’ve been on a roll lately.

  9. What a coincidence, whenever I take a crappy picture I say it was my 15-year old kid who messed with the camera. For some reason people don’t seem to believe me, though. I really need to come up with a better excuse.

  10. Well, I for one am quite impressed. If it were me and I spied insects swarming around my porch, instead of rushing for the camera, I’d have rushed for the phone. To call an exterminator. So. Bravo, love. Enjoy your bugs.

      • I have an irrational fear of colored things that can fly. I also don’t like birds or the little things you hit back and forth with mini rackets when playing badminton. Shuttlecocks, I think they’re called.

        Anyway. Magic is good. If I ever see one, I’ll do my best to appreciate the magic. From a distance…

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  12. Scary when our kids get to where they could kick our asses, isn’t it? In my case it’s my daughter the basketball player who could probably rearrange my bridgework.

    I don’t know what exactly that says about ME, but I’m sure it’s not good.

  13. As a former educator and a mother of 3 boys, 2 of them teenagers, I must tell you when dealing with Gabe it is IMPERATIVE that you don’t show fear when you confront him. It is also IMPERATIVE that you have a big stick, preferably a baseball bat, in your hand when you confront him.

    Trust me about this, like I’ll trust you about the dragonflies.

  14. Oh, crap, we have swarms of dragonflies down here. I guess it is because of the lake and humidity. The damn things are so big that I don’t call them a swarm. I think they are best described as a covey, or flock or herd! Wish I could send them all your way! I don’t like anything with wings. Happens to be a small phobia of mine. By the way, Lurch still blames the boys for leaving the seat up on the toilet and they haven’t lived here in ten years! Are you sure it is Gabe?


    • Damn that Lurch for taking the focus off my son’s problems and putting them back on me!

      So you don’t like anything with wings? How about angels?

        • You’re scared of butterflies? Wow. You must have had some traumatic experience with winged creatures when you were young. I can’t imagine what that would be, but I feel the same way about spiders. Too many legs. It’s not natural.

          I like the idea of an angel who just floats. Makes more sense in a way.

          • Floating sounds nice. No sounds of flapping wings. Arrggghhh! Just the thought of it! Now that you know that I live in the Big Thicket of Texas, can you imagine anywhere worse for a West Texas desert girl with a fear of wings to live? Diagram that sentence, please.


            • No, I can’t imagine a worse place for a bug-hater. The thicket is the cradle of civilization–for bugs! I have never seen so many bugs and other critters in my life. Feral hogs, armadillos, snakes of all variety, fish, and every sort of winged creature ever imagined, all them blood-thirsty vampires. It’s truly one of the most unusual places I’ve been, and I’ve been a lot of places.

  15. Here in the south we get mosquitoes that size. I’ve always been afraid of them; they look like they might sting. And yeah, it’s best not to mess with the boy who messed with the camera. I’m scared of teenage boys who are huge and carry big hockey sticks.

    • I saw some of those mosquitoes on a recent trip to the Big Thicket swamp in Texas. They’ve got every kind of bug down there, all of them and bloodthirsty.

        • Yes, about a month ago or so, and it’s very hot and humid there. Why would anybody live there except for the Cajun food and music? 🙂

          • I often ask myself that question! Lurch and I made an agreement early on in our relationship that we would only work in schools where kids really needed us. Believe me, they needed us here. That agreement led us on some interesting journeys through life. Since we have “retired”, I am sure we will be heading out to less buggy parts of the world.

  16. You know what’s easier than slapping a teen silly? (And avoiding a visit from CPS.)

    Taking away their cheap pay as you go cell phone!

    Oh the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth!

    It’s delightful!

  17. Damn you! I was going to write a post exactly like this one about the dragonflies I saw while I was canoing (except without the teenage boy angle). I too was going to take a picture of the magical dragonfly that alit on the bow of my canoe, but in the time between letting go of the paddle and taking out my camera, the dragonfly would have flown away and the current would have deposited me in some spiky branches along the shore. I chose self-preservation instead.

    But yeah, they’re beautiful insects.

    • Sorry, CheesyMike. I didn’t bean to steal your thunder. Although, if you have any other good ideas for posts, please send them my way. I don’t have a serious problem with plagiarism.

  18. Pingback: DragonFly Pictures» Dragonfly Pictures | Dragonflies and Damselflies: Model Organisms for Ecological and Evolutionary Research Reviews

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