RANDOM ACT OF METAPHOR
Snaketail Sleuthing by the Riffling Stream
Hmmm, could it be that we’ve forgotten the purpose for which we were created?
My first forays into the fields in pursuit of winged wonders were quieter than usual this year as summer arrived with uncharacteristic modesty after a cool and petulant spring.
Perhaps that is a good thing. Anything that slows the frenetic pace of life these days is to be treasured. An added bonus: it gave me leisure to do some snaketail sleuthing which requires a measure of patience.
Snaketail dragonflies are uncommon and therefore always a delight to see. They also present intriguing identification challenges. Almost all Snaketails feature a distinct green thorax with brown shoulder stripes and black, brown or dark bluish abdomens with yellow markings.
So when my sleuthing turned up an interesting specimen, I had to decide whether to label it a Rusty Snaketail (common), Riffle Snaketail (uncommon) or Sioux Snaketail (rare). The only sure fire way to make the identification is to capture it and examine it with hand magnifier. But I am just a hobbyist and do not want to be seen running through the fields waving a net.
On passing an elbow in the nearby stream, I had noticed an interesting curved riffle where the water coursed over a sandbank. And so, I settled on Riffle Snaketail because that species is known to frequent streams with riffles.
In the end, it matters not whether I got the identification right. It matters only that it slowed my footsteps and recalibrated my brain to the gentler pace of trickling streams with dragonflies in stitching flight along their path.
Snaketail sleuthing by the riffling stream – a random act of metaphor to remind me that we were created to linger lazily and delight in the moment, not to dash about madly like the end of the world is nigh.
~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at www.mdyetmetaphor.comor the novel online companion at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog.
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