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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dragonfly Summer

The sky above our lower meadow resembled the Battle of Britain tonight, shapes soaring and darting through the skies, skimming the long yellowing grass, paths crossing, wings shimmering in the western light. It was the annual summer massacre of the dragonflies.

Yesterday evening, Kerry and I sat on the porch watching dozens of dragonflies hovering over the driveway, then flashing off. Occasionally - very occasionally - one of our cats would suddenly leap into the air, swiping with a quick paw. Our orange tabby, Ricky, trotted away with a dragonfly tail dangling from his soft mouth, awfully pleased with himself.

But tonight, it was slaughter in the fields, as dozens of swallows flew above the meadow chasing the low-flying insects, faster than the camera lens could follow. It lasted about 30 minutes, until the sun dropped lower in the sky, throwing the meadow into shadow. The swallows moved up the hill into the sunlight, hoping for a second course.

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