Posts Tagged ‘writing about insects’


Dragonfly Wings, BlackBerry Shots, Golden Valley, Minnesota, July 2010, photo © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

I’ve seen a dragonfly every day since I took this BlackBerry photograph on July 2nd. It landed atop a daylily in the garden on a sweltering afternoon. Earlier that day, I saw two dragonflies mating on the wing, the first time I had spotted the insect all year. Dragonflies, butterflies and fireflies — highlights of Summer. We don’t see the volume of fireflies here in Minnesota that I used to see growing up in the Deep South and in Pennsylvania. So I look to the Dragons for inspiration. If I see enough of them, I start to pay attention.

According to the Minnesota DNR site, dragonflies are prehistoric insects that date back to the dinosaur:

Dragonflies and their close relatives called damselflies are ancient insects and prehistoric reminders of the age of the dinosaurs. Enormous dragonflies with a wingspread up to 30 inches across were part of the Paleozoic landscape about 300 million years ago. The largest insect ever known was a dragonfly called Meganeura monyi. It had a wingspread of 30 inches and a body 18 inches long. It lived until about 250 million years ago and then became extinct.

The last time I wrote about Dragonfly was in May of 2007. The second Canon Powershot photograph on Shadow Of A Dragonfly is one of my favorites, with the recent BlackBerry Dragonfly photo closing in for the tie. There is just something about Dragonflies. I pulled out the Medicine Cards tonight and this is what I read:

Dragonfly medicine is of the dreamtime and the illusionary facade we accept as physical reality. The iridescence of Dragonfly’s wings reminds us of colors not found in our everyday experience. Dragonfly’s shifting of color, energy, form, and movement explodes into the mind of the observer, bringing vague memories of a time or place where magic reigned. Some legends say that Dragonfly was once Dragon, and that Dragon had scales like Dragonfly’s wings.

Dragonfly is the essence of the winds of change, the messages of wisdom and enlightenment, and the communications from the elemental world. This elemental world is made up of the spirits of plants, and the elements Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. On one level, you may need to give thanks to the food you eat for sustaining your body. On a psychological level, it may be time to break down the illusions you have held that restrict your actions or ideas.

Dragonfly medicine always beckons you to seek out the parts of your habits which you need to change. Have you tended to the changes you have wanted to make in your life? If you feel the need for change, call on Dragonfly to guide you through the mists of illusion to the pathway of transformation. See how you can apply the art of illusion to your present question or situation, and remember that things are never completely as they seem.

–excerpt from the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson, published 1988, Bear & Company, Sante Fe, New Mexico

There are over 5000 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Not only do they eat mosquitoes and fly between 19 to 38 m.p.h., they are magic. When we were at a Fourth of July gathering and ritual healing for the Gulf of Mexico, a friend found a Dragonfly wing in her garden. When she heard about my encounters with Dragonfly, she handed the veined, translucent wing to me. I tucked it inside the cover of my writing notebook. The things I carry. Dragonfly secrets. Written in the wind.

-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

-related to posts: What Is Your Totem Animal? and WRITING TOPIC – INSECTS & SPIDERS & BUGS, OH MY! (You haven’t lived until you’ve seen ybonesy’s photograph of a Jerusalem Cricket in the Rio Grande Valley. Check out Child of the Earth and Me at the Insects & Spiders & Bugs Writing Topic link!)

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Child of the Earth and Me, a Jerusalem Cricket in the Rio Grande Valley on a March morning, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

The weather is getting warm, which means insects and spiders are coming out.

I almost burned the sausage the other morning on account of running outside to look at an unusual creature in our front yard.

“It’s a CHILD OF THE EARTH!” I screamed.

We used to see them all the time when I was a child of the earth myself. They scared the pee out of me, with their shiny translucent casing and black-dot eyes on either side of their humungous heads.

The Child of the Earth is really a Stenopelmatus Fuscus, or a Jerusalem Cricket. In other, less dramatic parts of the world, it’s commonly known as the Potato Bug, and I guess one could argue that it vaguely looks like a spud. (I, however, think it more closely resembles a crawling fetus.) It’s innocuous (like you’d expect a child to be) and lives mostly burrowed underground, which accounts for its pale complexion.

I’m fascinated by most bugs. The other day we came across a big, thick centipede. I was simultaneously freaked out and hypnotized by its long, plastic-looking body and pincers on the tip of its head (or was that its bottom?). It wasn’t until it started to amble — with its oodles of legs — in my direction that I let out a yelp and high-tailed it out of there.

In short, I’m both attracted to and repulsed by creepy crawly critters.

What about you? How do feel about moths and ants and crickets and beetles?

Do you run the other way when you see them, or are you the one others call to come get the Daddy Long Legs out of the bathtub?

Think about all manner of bug-like creatures. Think about your response when you see them. Which ones creep you out? Which ones do you consider to be magical?

Set your timer for 15 minutes and at the top of your page write the words, Everything I know about bugs….

Get your hand moving (as if you have ants in your pants) and don’t stop until the buzzer rings.

Ants in my Croiss-ants, the first ants of spring having a picnic in our kitchen on a warm March day, photo © 2008 by Jim. All rights reserved.

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