The Suitcase Lady


August 3, 2010, 10:33 pm

I hurry home from work on summer days eager to see what’s going on in my yard. Every summer evening is special, but last Wednesday at dusk was spectacular. As we sat having dinner on the front deck, the sky directly overhead was peppered with giant dragonflies. They were zigging, zagging, dropping straight down, zooming vertically and, in general, putting helicopters to shame with their aerial stunts. I know that as they were performing these feats, the dragonflies were simultaneously grabbing bugs with their front legs and stuffing the insects into their mouths. The only show more sensational would have taken place in prehistoric times when dragonflies had wingspans of 2.5 feet.

In the airspace above the dragonflies, about forty of our purple martins were swooping around, chattering and gobbling insects for bedtime snacks. We observed that no dragonflies got picked off by the martins. I’m guessing the dragons were too big a mouthful.

As the last rays of the sun were fading, the highest layer of the sky was filled with silent streams of gulls winging home for bedtime in the lake.

In less than an hour, we witnessed hundreds and hundreds of flight paths. Unlike O’Hare, no control tower  filled with air traffic controllers was needed. And we are happy to report that, despite the congestion, no mid-air collisions occurred. Nature certainly has her act together.

4 Comments for this entry

  • Peg

    Great observations. You are very fortunate to have such an inside track to the wonders of nature. Look,look, look and you will SEE

  • Mary

    Peg! You are the pro at observing nature. We would love to have the eye for spotting things that you have. We always see more when we go places with you.

  • Tiara

    cool dragonflys are relly neat to look at and wach and research

  • Mary

    Hi T! I hope the dragonflies are still here when you visit in a few weeks. The purple martins have to fly all the way to South America for their winter vacation, so they might be gone by the time you arrive. But we can guarantee that the Monarchs will be everywhere! See you soon!