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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shadow Darner

Shadow Darner

I was out walking Maggie on the park by myself; enjoying a good book.  Yes, I read when I walk, and I never trip and fall.  It is the only way I know how to read without getting sleepy.  I end up going on longer walks, because of it--something that is good for both Maggie and me.

The book I am reading on my walks it “The Heart of the World” by Ian Baker.  It is the true story about the author’s journeys in Tibet looking for a legendary waterfall in an inaccessible Tibetan Tsangpo Gorge.

The Tibetan Buddhist believe there are difficult and wonderful places hidden in Tibet where a person can go on a spiritual quest to find enlightenment.  Not only are these places most wonderful, but they offer a portal into the hidden world--the one that is there that we can’t see.

I got to a particularly lovely spot of the park where I closed the book to walk and enjoy the scenery, and pondered what I read.  If there is a hidden realm invisible to us?  Is it possible that we wouldn't have to risk our lives by wandering in Tibet.  Couldn’t it be right before our eyes, and we merely need to look harder?

At that moment, I heard a noise by the vernal pool that I was passing.  I glanced over and saw a large dragonfly chase off another.  Now, this was the summer of the dragonfly for me.  On my travels, I searched for dragonflies and learned to identify them.  Some were cooperative and would sit on a branch for me, so I could get a good look at it.  The larger ones would cruise around so fast that I could barely make out their markings.

Just a few hours, previous, I was out hiking with Kevin near the Rocky River Nature Center to see the new steps they installed on Fort Hill.  I was lamenting that we no longer see dragonflies.  Little did I know I would see one more before winter.

Now, here is the special thing about this dragonfly.  I walked over to get a good look at him, and he just hovered in place.  I said, “Hello,” to him and got as close as I could.  He let me stand just a foot from him for well over a minute.  I looked him over the top and side to side.  What a gorgeous insect!  He had a blue head, dark body, stripes on his tale and two hash marks on each side.  He then flew away and circled about the pool until I couldn't see him any longer.

As soon as I got home, I looked into my guidebook that I got from the Ohio Division of Natural Resources and easily identified him as a Shadow Darner.  Their flight period is from July 4 to November 6.  This was on November 2, so it really was one of my last chances to see one.

Is there a hidden realm for us to find?  Do we need to travel to remote and mysterious places to find it?  Or can we just open our eyes to the amazing things around us right in our own backyards?  My visit with the dragonfly saved me a trip to Tibet.

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