Boo-yah! Stop the Presses!

Kim depressed Bitmoji
I don’t have blue hair yet, but I’m considering trying it out.

I know I promised to write about a special native wildflower this time, but there’s BIG news today, so that will have to wait. Yes, thanks to all that’s good and holy, I have FINALLY found my first dragonfly of the season!!! This is what I’ve been waiting for, the thing that I knew would help pull me out of this wretched depressed state.

I had to force myself to go for a walk today, as I’d been moping around at home for days, simply unwilling to be among people. I logged out of the time-sucking social media site a week ago, and have been wallowing in my isolation loneliness. But that’s a self-defeating behavior, I know. In a time when I most need to be around people, I avoid them because it reminds me of how much I miss my friends and how I can’t hug anyone. But I digress.

Just look at this Common Green Darner (Anax junius)!!!!

Common Green Darner FOY - blog

I hadn’t expected to find any odes flying today with the cold north wind, but suddenly there she was, flying low and slow on the edge of a small pond. The cold wind helped bring her to the ground where I was able to get very close to her from a few different angles.

Dragonflies have virtually 360º vision, with their only “blind spot” directly behind the head. So my first approach was from the rear, verrry slowly. I couldn’t believe I was able to get within about four feet of her, shooting from almost directly above. That angle allowed a great view of the distinctive bulls-eye mark on the top of the head of this species.

Common Green Darner female - view from above v1 - blog

Here’s a closer crop of the head:

Common Green Darner FOY top of head crop - blog

Green darners are usually the first species I see each year because they’re migratory, and arrive here before other non-migratory species emerge from the water.

Common Green Darner profile head crop - blog

Whenever I get a chance to get close photos of a dragonfly, I get lost in the wonder of their fascinating bodies and lives. Today during the few minutes I spent with this individual, I was transported out of a world of suffering and fear and into a place where nothing mattered except this insect and me, sharing a moment.

I don’t think she could have possibly enjoyed our special time nearly as much as I did, but I’m grateful that she allowed me to watch her resting and then feeding on tiny insects I couldn’t even see as she grabbed them out of the air. I constantly tell people that nature is healing, but sometimes I forget just how intensely important that healing can be. Like right now.

Kim Bitmoji yayNotice the difference in this second Bitmoji compared to the first one above? That’s what nature can do for you. It’s an exaggeration of how I felt today, but it expresses my relief at finding affirmation that the natural world continues despite our human problems. Our current troubles will end at some point, and I will be able to walk side-by-side with my odeing buddies again. I’m holding on to that for dear life.

Be well everyone, and look for that special wildflower post next. 🙂

16 thoughts on “Boo-yah! Stop the Presses!”

  1. Got my FOS Ode yesterday and thought about you. I couldn’t tell what kind it was because it was flying in the middle of a muddy field, looking into the sun etc… Wish I knew them better.

  2. I see I’m in good company with my solitary tendencies. Even my best friends don’t hear from me that often. I love these closeup photos of the green darner. I enjoy dragonflies but don’t have a camera that can get those sorts of closeups. I’m really happy for you to reconnect with nature. I’m reading a book right now that talks about how healing nature is for so many human ailments, it’s extraordinary. Take care of yourself. xx

  3. You’d think I would be the first to see a dragonfly! I’m happy to see yours. And I love your enthusiasm!
    As for the hair, when I was in Germany two years ago, I was so taken aback by all ages of people – both men and women – with shocking colored hair, and all sorts of styles. I loved it!! People were so free to be themselves and wear whatever they wanted too – very little makeup on most women but they did tend towards crazy eyeglass frames and lots of piercings. I was fascinated! What a wonderful feeling it was to be a little outrageous!! American’s are so fickle with looks and what other’s might think of us.
    I was just telling a fellow blogger this morning that I’m such an introvert and maybe even very much a loner, that I am not sure I am one who needs checking on. Maybe I’m the oddball. As I grow older, I have found more connection in nature than with humans. About a month ago my lifelong friend (also named Lori!) called to check on Forrest and me, saying she’d been making calls to check on people. Normally, Lori and I talk two to three times a year, but lately she’s been calling weekly. It hadn’t occurred to me to check on people more often – other than keeping up with family, which I haven’t partaken in any more than usual. I do understand the collective consciousness as a group of friends, or a state or country. It is good to be a part of something positive – a movement or in support of something. For each of us this distancing and social disconnect means something different. It hasn’t been difficult for me at all. I walk a different road I suppose… keeping up with the people that I always have, and continuing to enjoy the solace and comfort of nature.

    1. Lori, yes, it is a little bit surprising that you haven’t seen a dragonfly before me!

      And as for the introvert / loner thing, I’m so different than I was just five years ago. I used to be very much a loner and introvert, but I think the divorce flipped a switch in me and I turned into more of an extrovert and someone who needs to be around people. I’m still amazed when I think about how much I have changed in the last few years. And now that I need to be with people more often, I feel a bit panicked that I’m being forced back into my old lonely ways. I don’t ever want to be as isolated as I was in the past. I think that’s what’s really at the heart of my depression and fear right now.

      I’m really happy to know that you’re handling everything so well. When this isolation stuff started, I went through my list of friends and made a short list of the people who live alone like me. I taped that on my refrigerator and I try to check in with those people on a regular basis. It’s so much harder when you don’t have another person in your house to have normal daily conversations with, or even just to put an arm around you on a bad day. The least I can do is to let them know that I understand how alone they are right now. I’ve promised everyone a gigantic group hug when this is over, LOL.

  4. Hi Kim! I feel your pain…or depression. It’s definently a struggle to do anything right now. I’ve been sorting through and labeling last years pics and posting on Instagram, at least I can remember Magee and my warblies!

    Stay well!…and a big huggies too. Dave

    http://www.burdzbuttz.blogspot.com

    On Sat, Apr 18, 2020, 7:18 PM Nature Is My Therapy wrote:

    > Kim Smith posted: ” I know I promised to write about a special native > wildflower this time, but there’s BIG news today, so that will have to > wait. Yes, thanks to all that’s good and holy, I have FINALLY found my > first dragonfly of the season!!! This is what I’ve been waiti” >

    1. Hi Dave! Long time no see, my friend. I’d wondered where you’d gone when there were no recent posts on your blog. Too bad I’m not on the ole Instagram to follow your birding adventures. Be well, and I’ll meet see you at Magee NEXT year. 🙂

  5. Thank you-that certainly was an exciting sighting. I will have to keep my eyes open to see if green darners have arrived here on Vancouver Island. I know what you mean about being out in nature to take your mind off what is going on right now. Today I found 3 different species of spiders , so I had a good day too.
    Lynda

    1. Yay on the spiders, Lynda! In the area where I found this dragonfly, there were hundreds of tiny spiders scattering as I walked. I got a photo of one, and it’s some kind of wolf spider. I posted it to iNaturalist in my Big Bug Year project, so maybe a spider expert will narrow the identification down for me. Thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  6. Stunning photos of your dragonfly. I enjoyed picturing you in a sniper’s Ghillie suit sneaking up for these great shots! (Glad you saw him, and are you really gonna be a blue hair?)

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