Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘dragonflies’

The Day the Sun Stood Still

A wee bit late of June 21, the formal date of the summer solstice — celebrated throughout human history as an astronomical turning point, when daylight reigns supreme. The word solstice is derived from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stand still), because it appears as though the sun actually stops during the solstice. For a few days after the solstice, the sun rises and sets at its northernmost point on the horizon, before slowly migrating southward again for the next six months.

From the midsummer festivals with bonfires and feasts, to the festival of St. John the Baptist, to Kupala Night and more, may your days of worshiping the sun be filled with blessings!

PAn with Dragonfly

The harbinger of good times: Pan with a companion dragonfly

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Well, this was my initial DELICATE post — a precious periwinkle dragonfly resting along the Apoxee Trail in the Grassy Waters Preserve.  It was my companion for the better part of a half-mile; this gossamer creation following me as I hiked — perhaps because I was head-to-toe in periwinkle!

Blue Dragonfly, Grassy Waters Preserve, Florida

That is, until Sunday evening, when a starving black kitten crossed my path. I’ve been TNRing (Trap-Neuter-Release) many kitties, in my wee attempt to help control the populations. (Our county has a severe feline overpopulation issue.) Apparently a lovely woman nearby is doing the same (THANK YOU, stranger!). Sometimes, it’s not cheap: If the kitties are sick, pregnant, need medications, or if assistance is needed with trapping (they can be wily)…it quickly adds up. But these guys need help. Many have been abandoned, the sad products of foreclosed homes and other circumstances. I’ve seen pets left behind for a simple move / long vacation, shockingly.

New Feline Rescue

Maya (??) caught in the flash

My guys are rescues…. And it’s easy to see which ones can survive out there, and which ones cannot. This girl falls into the latter category. She tried desperately to find a home for as long as she was alive, apparently. Maya (?!? still playing with her name) crossed my path in another section of the neighborhood, and, according to one of the tenants, she has no litter mates, and was unable to reach the food provided by the woman caring for the other strays (being so tiny and timid). She had been trying to sneak into the homes of many residents — to no avail. An absolute sweetheart, one of the friendliest felines I’ve ever seen, she wants nothing more than love, safety, and shelter. But every bone in her body is razor-sharp: each vertebrae, her hips…. She was starving. At 6 months old, she has the body of a 4-month-old. I’ll never understand how a starving animal could be repeatedly turned away by so many, nor do I want to understand.

New Feline Rescue

Enjoying the view from inside

Right now, while her body’s very delicate, she’s a survivor — like so many souls on the streets, she’s a combination of delicacy and strength. And despite what she’s seen, despite her physical hardships and emaciation, despite her continued unsuccessful attempts at finding a home (until now), she remains the sweetest little soul.

Troupes of Dragonflies

We are all visitors to this time, this place…. We are just passing through. Our purpose is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love, and then we return home. —Australian Aboriginal saying

While exploring the trails of Grassy Waters Preserve, we were visited by troupes of the brightest and most lovely dragonflies…. One of them followed me for a solid 5 minutes — and in my true nature, I slowed down, watching every movement for fear of hurting my bright mascot. I’m convinced that he fell in love with our similar coloring; periwinkle ranks high on my favorite-colors list, and I was head-to-toe in it. Perhaps he thought I was a Grand Poobah / Dragonfly Queen?

Periwinkle follower


Air, Water + Earth: The Savannas

Despite our fanatical hiking throughout South Florida, we had never investigated the Savannas — and within the space of one week, it came up in conversation no less than three times (once from a fellow blogger). Obviously a sign! We were insanely lucky to visit on a cool, cloudy, and windy day after an unseasonably warm (read: HOT) spell. We investigated a few trails from the Education Center, as well as further within the park. Afterwards, we drove towards Jensen Beach to check out Hawk’s Bluff, also part of the park and an extension of the Florida Trail. Located along the eastern edge of the Savannas, Hawk’s Bluff is a lovely 1-mile loop trail, marked by sand dunes and oak hammocks, leading to the water’s edge overlooking the Savannas. If anyone has suggestions for other trails and access points, please give a shout!

Managing nearly 6,000 acres, the preserve represents the largest and most ecologically intact swath of freshwater marshes, or “savannas,” that once extended along Florida’s entire southeast coast. Looking across their lovely vastness today, it’s downright depressing to picture the hotels that currently reside in their place. The open wetlands filter rainwater and runoff from the surrounding dunes and pine flatwoods, creating a unique biological community — an endangered landscape — as they continue to preserve and feed vital waterways and ecosystems, including the Atlantic scrub ridge, freshwater marshes, and the estuaries of the St. Lucie Inlet. The preserve is comprised of six natural communities: pine flatwoods, wet prairie, basin marsh, marsh lake, sand pine scrub, and scrubby flatwoods. While each community is home to its own fauna and flora populations, the sand pine scrub habitat represents an increasingly imperiled ecosystem, and shelters several of Florida’s most threatened and endangered animal and plant species. The Savannas’ many wildlife species include the threatened Florida scrub jays, gopher tortoises, alligators, deer, and sandhill cranes. American bald eagles have recently made their homes in the preserve, as well — the nests of several pairs are located in the more isolated areas. The park is also one of the few remaining natural habitats in the U.S. for the endangered (and inedible) prickly apple cactus (Harrisia fragrans), which grows along the Atlantic Ridge in the scrub regions.

Being a chilly and windy day, we didn’t run into too many critters, but I did manage to spot a few (with some trees thrown in for good measure):

Green-on-Green Dragonfly

Water Flower

Rat Snake Catching Some Sun

Palm and Savannas

Live Oak on the Hawk’s Bluff Trail

For More Information:

%d bloggers like this: