Summer of the Dragonflies

Summer of the Dragonflies

It’s not every day that dragonflies make the news, but this summer in Chicago, dragonflies are  everywhere.  They have been front-page news at the Chicago Tribune.  You can read more about them here.

Update–In case you don’t have time to read the articles, here’s what you need to know–Dragonflies don’t bite.  They do, however, eat mosquitos.

Weather conditions have favored their return.   The record rainfall  has been good for them. If people are amazed and curious, that is a good thing, too.

Too often, the natural world goes unnoticed in the city. We live among many other living creatures. Do we really see the sparrows at lunchtime, the butterflies among the summer flowers?

No doubt we are busy with our own lives,  too preoccupied  to notice  a weed  growing out of a crack in the sidewalk, the sphagnum moss colony growing in the waiting water pipes by a construction site. We mostly notice nature when it rains on us, or a tornado warning sounds.  Yet,  we  appreciate  a perfect afternoon,  the  blue sky at a ball game.

Do we marvel at the fireflies of summer?  Do we hear the sound of the dog day cicadas that is the background music of these evenings?  People have been inspired by them for hundreds, thousands of years.

Here is a poem about dragonflies by the haiku poet, Kobayashi Issa–


tôyama ga medama ni utsuru tombo kana

the distant mountain
reflected in his eyes…


Now  their eyes  reflect the skyline of the city by the lake.

This summer  is unique to us. We are the ones who are alive here, now.  It is our time to experience  daylilies and summer nights, the Perseid meteors, the dragonflies….


You can read about fireflies here.

Read about daylilies here.

Read more about the Perseid meteors here.




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  • Against summer skies,
    Luminary wings and eyes,
    Hums of dragonflies.

  • That's beautiful! Thank you, AW.

  • Thank you. I'll be watching my neighborhood dragonflies -- and there are many -- with fresh eyes now.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thanks so much for reading--much appreciated.

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