Summer’s almost ended in the flash of a dragonfly’s tail.

Posted Tuesday – 1st. September 2015.  Dedicated to my Dad – Michael.

Alas, the school summer holiday is almost ended – and Tom is nearly back at school – for his last year. I remember back to my own school days when six weeks seemed like forever at the start – and then suddenly it’s over.  I feel like that again with Tom – I can’t believe how fast time has gone-on and the realisation that this year’s school summer holiday is officially our last – because next year he leaves school.  This school summer holiday – we have enjoyed some lovely days out – and some wonderful walks together…

About a week ago – we went for an evening walk – around the big block where we live – roughly six miles.  Passing the fisheries – I noticed a dragonfly lying on the road – not dead but clearly in the last stages of this metamorphosis.  I picked it up and laid it to rest on my reflective vest that was draped over my hand.  What a magnificent creature – I don’t think I have ever held a dragonfly on my hand before. We continued our walk – with the dragonfly now firmly gripped onto the material of my vest – the barbs on its legs made sure it wasn’t going anywhere.  I watched as its body pulsated in my hand – and with a slight flicker of its wings and an arch of its tail – I hoped that it would revive and fly away…

It didn’t.  In the dimsy light – I carried it all the way round our six mile walk – and by the time we got home the last vestiges of daylight had vanished and the dragonfly had faded too – it died on the back of my draped hand – still clinging to my reflective vest.  I carried it into our home and showed it to my very olde father who was still awake – he is ninety-one and all his life he has loved ponds and dragonflies.Dragonfly - Something about Dartmoor

Finally – I laid the dragonfly to rest beneath Dad’s Mulberry tree in the garden – and as I did – I couldn’t help think how the flash of a dragonfly’s tail on a hot summer’s day is as fast as life itself; blink and you miss it. As Tom gets ready to return to school for his final year – I realise how his childhood days have flown by.

Here are some pictures that I took of the dragonfly silhouetted against a lamp.  I’m glad that this powerful creature with ‘fragile’ fairy-like wings spent its dying moments on the back of my hand and that I was able to rescue it from being crushed into the road by a passing car.  Nothing this beautiful should ever be crushed.

Something about Dartmoor.

Something about Dartmoor

Something about Dartmoor

Today – we are off to the antiques market at Tavistock – followed by a picnic and a walk on Dartmoor – our last outing – of our last summer holiday; and there isn’t a better place where we could spend it together.  It’s a beautiful, bright sunny day too.  I’ll keep you posted…

2 thoughts on “Summer’s almost ended in the flash of a dragonfly’s tail.

  1. Such an ethereal creature of the air and water , and more magical to see it still, its loss of life taking nothing away from its beauty, its glassy form. They fly so fast I never see them close they are amazing thank you for sharing…. Oh your so fortunate I am swooning… a mulberry tree in your garden swoon again… delightful, moorish, what a treasure I’m a faint shade of green!!!!! Hope your lad has a fabulous final year there is so much you want to pass on to them….
    Hugs Lynn x

    • Hello Lynn,
      Thank you for your lovely poetic response. The Dragonfly although dead still looks alive in the ‘hands’ image – I had to gently prise it off my reflective vest – it just didn’t want to let go even in death – I like your ‘glassy form’ description – very apt. As for the Mulberry in our garden – this is the first year that it has produced fruit – funny, hairy black globes that are very hard to see hidden under huge heart shaped leaves – it is a Black Mulberry – and it is about as old as me. In Mulberry terms though it is a youngster – even younger than my boy! One of the most remarkable things that we have noticed about it is the way it sheds its leaves in the Autumn – all of them seem to drop off on the same day as if by magic.

      Hugs too – Melanie x

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