Posted 21/Nov 2009 at 05:32
by in Home & Living read by 35 people

Sweden Blogs - Part VII - Dragonfly

In August dragonflies come out in large numbers, here in the Stockholm archipelago. They find areas without wind and love to meander around, almost as if they are on a discovery tour of the garden.

I have always loved these insects because of their long lanky bodies, four wings which makes them extremely manoeuvrable flyers and of course their fantastic, disproportionally oversized, 270 degree "see everything" eyes.

When the Swedish summer is in full bloom, everything green, flowers and shrubs at their best, the distant sounds of boatlife in the air, a soft warm breeze and a comfortable 26 degrees or so, it's the dragonflies that deliver the icing on the cake for me.

I sometimes try to get a good look at them by sitting very quietly on the grass in the middle of the garden with a cup of coffee, hoping they will land somewhere close.

Of course, if they do, the only reason is to check out whether or not I am prey for them. This is probably why they never stick around - I would be a challenge for a dragonfly to slay, let alone devour. There's easier and tastier species at hand.

But usually, having flown away again in that erratic, four-wing spectacular frenzy, it never takes them long to return, hang still in the air not so far away, eying me up to take another good look. It's then they understand that I am merely an admiring spectator, a member of the audience enjoying the show.

Now someone told me the other day that dragonflies are fearsome and efficient hunters, their hunting prowess due in no small part to the exact qualities I admire them for.

I prefer to think of them as just having fun in my garden on a summer's day, enjoying the season's temptations, showcasing their fantastic features for cosmetic purposes only.

Most dragonfly species winter beneath the ice in the larval form, which means they will come back again to play next year.

I am convinced that eventually, we will become friends.

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