We had a Calendar Garden outing on Saturday. The summer quadrant is always the one bursting with color and blooms. And in this case, dragonflies.
We had a getaway at Camp Friedenswald last week, enjoying the change in landscape. Both mornings we headed across the lake in a canoe, avoiding the shoreline with all the houses, and coming back along the wooded lakeshore. The floating turtles we saw all took a quick dive for the bottom. The dragonflies circled round and sometimes rode along with us for a spell. Near the fen, we passed water lilies and then John called out, "Look at all that blue!" We paddled in for a closer look. Dragonfly orgy!
A medley this time -- from the prairie plantings on campus this time. Three on a sunny day, and the last two from a dewy morning. I watched that damselfly hanging from the edge of the leaf and then swing itself upward till it was on top of the leaf. If you zoom in, you can see that both the leaf and the damselfly are covered with dew.
I am fascinated by all the varieties of dragonflies I am seeing in my own backyard these days, and by the sometimes amusing faces, as well as the beauty of those latticed wings.
Summer is here and it is the season for dragonflies. And damselflies, which are very similar. Dragonflies have thicker bodies and dissimilar wings outspread, damsels rest their wings together, parallel to the body. We went walking at Oxbow Park earlier this week and saw damselflies darting by the dozens -- tiny, pastel colored ones resting on the path and flitting away too quickly to photograph; the dark lacy kind above (zoom in to see those intricate wings!) and brilliant blue greens basking on sunny leaves (I managed to get either sharp pictures where the brilliant color only shows on the edge of the wing, like below, or slightly blurry ones that give a better sense of that metallic blue brilliance).
I saw a vivid dragonfly in the prairie grasses last night, but it sped away when I tried to record it. Then I saw the one that remained, just a few inches lower, nearly hidden in the grass, with a golden body and its wings a pale blue shimmer. And finally there is a photo of a dragonfly enjoying the warmth of our fence -- the slightly confusing shadows are due to two layers of fence boards.
Evening sun after a day of rain encouraged a walk on campus, where we found a flock of cedar waxwings feasting on old fruit. And on the other side of campus, a festive display of redbud, some of it so eager for spring it came bursting out of the tree trunk.
Which brings to mind an old song, learned from a friend on a long car trip during college:
To ope' their trunks the trees are never seen
How then do they put on their robes of green?
They leaf them out.
The trillium and this bright yellow flower (wood poppy?) were easy to see, as were new leaves in the sunlight. Some of the wildflowers were shyer and harder to find. Another woods-goer told us with delight of finding jack-in-the-pulpit for the first time. I've found them other places, but we never spotted hers. We did see other small flowers -- and some colorful fungi.
This week we went on an expedition to Edna Spurgeon Land Trust, near Topeka. The drive out took us through flat farm fields till we found our way into a woods with rolling hills and full of spring flowers. Trillium -- red, white, and shades of pink -- mayapples, ramp, and numerous other wildflowers carpeted the ground.
On the third Sunday of Eastertide, the woods were in spring celebration mode -- green leaves dancing, trees festooned with fringes, white trout lilies opening in the sun's warmth, turtles basking, and a gladsome sunlit glade.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
Tesserae: small cube-shaped tiles of ceramic, glass or precious stone used to make a mosaic, or in this case, brief essays on some element of lectio divina with Luke 10:38-42.