By Joann M. Ringelstetter
A month ago, I posted a story entitled “Dragonfly” in which I wrote about some interesting dragonfly encounters shortly after our brother Paul died in June of 2014. A few days ago, I had another very interesting encounter with a dragonfly.
I needed to repaint part of a green metal birdfeeder that had gotten rusty over time, so I set the birdfeeder on some newspaper and went to get the can of spray paint. When I returned with the paint, there was a beautiful red dragonfly sitting on the newspaper. I said, “I don’t think you’re going to want to stay there when I start spray painting.” And after I started, the dragonfly left the newspaper, but moved even closer to the paint and landed on top of the birdfeeder.
As he sat there looking at me, I said, “Okay, Paul, if you sent this dragonfly, then have him hang out with me for a while.” Then I continued to spray the smelly paint on the inside of the birdfeeder and the dragonfly continued to hang out on top of the feeder. I couldn’t believe it, so I went inside to get my camera, expecting him to be gone when I returned. But he was still sitting there, so I began to photograph him, sticking my macro lens right up to his little face. And still he continued to sit there.
This dragonfly was in the Skimmer family of dragonflies and was either a Cherry-Faced or a Ruby Meadowhawk. Other than examining DNA, about the only way to tell the difference between the two is to examine their reproductive organs, which I certainly didn’t try to do. After taking several photos of the Meadowhawk sitting on the birdfeeder, I said, “You know, that’s not a very nice background. Maybe you could fly over to one of those hostas and let me photograph you there.”
As soon as those words left my mouth, the dragonfly flew up and landed on the flowers of a hosta I purchased shortly after Paul’s passing and which is called “Paul’s Glory.” When I walked over to it, he quickly flew away. I said, “Are you messing with me?” Then he landed on another hosta leaf nearby and sat there until I finished taking a few shots.
When I finished taking my photos, I thanked him and he flew away.