Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dragonfly



On Thursday, I was running between appointments (late as usual), then came to a screeching, abrupt halt, in the middle of a busy street. I gasped. Even at breakneck, late-as-usual speed, I had spotted a thing of breathtaking beauty. I’d narrowly missed stomping on a dead dragonfly.

How often, other than in a museum, do you really get to study a dragonfly? Even in the museum, they are lost to the bug specimens with the louder personalities: the rhinoceros beetle, the bird-eating spider, the hairier heebie jeebies. Out in the world, dragonflies whizz by in a blur: feigning left, right, who knows where.



I photographed this critter on a lightbox. The weird and changing colours are, I guess, from the strobing of the fluorescent light.



Oh, and if you look closely at the top image, you’ll see the tiny silhouette of an ant who seems to have come along for the ride (lunch).

The dragonfly’s wingspan is 11cm, by the way.



When I found him, I was reminded of solo travel. Don’t you miss company most when you behold something wonderful? You have to make that split second decision: whether to come over like a blethering lunatic, exclaiming your rapturous joy out loud to the world. Or you hold that shiver of excitement tight inside.



Of course I came across like a blethering lunatic. Then I thought some of you might like to see him too. If you want, you can pop by for a cuppa and a closer look and we’ll exclaim out loud.

60 comments:

jolijou said...

I'd love to pop over for a cuppa! While I'm on my way could you stitch up that dragonfly pillow I insist you to make? Even if it will encourage slightly more loud exclaiming than your neighbours are willing to tolerate....
Thanks for making me stop for a second over that dragonfly. Dainty and breakable as life itself it just made me remember to pause for a second and enjoy.
xoxo
Andrea

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Your kids have got to think you the coolest mum ever.

Exclaiming excitedly over and making beautiful art from ...dead bugs.

I've been trying to take arty pictures of wool and thread. As beautiful as your pictures are, really are, I'd not like the whole up close and personal with death bit.

Biscuit with that cup of tea?

Cheers,
AJ

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures! I don't at all think you are a lunatic! Noticing and slowly appreciating the small beautiful things is a very sane thing more people need to do!

Laura from beautiful West Michigan

Sarah said...

He is beautiful! Such lovely ethereal images I don't think you're crazy at all for getting soooo excited! x

Andi said...

Stunning photos .... you blithering lunatic you!!!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I love the pictures, so beautiful. here at chez chunky chooky we love a bit of dead animal inspection. Why just moments ago we noticed that "favourite fish" was "asleep" on the top of the tank... Busy likes to have a good look at it before it is ceremoniously placed in the worm farm, she knows in a day or so we will looks at is again and it will be gone and the worms will have fat bellies.

I have that moment of excitment when I find a cicada wing..

Lola Nova said...

We have had so many dragonflies in are yard this year, they are truly a wonder. I'll be over soon to examine and exclaim!

One Flew Over said...

I hope to see him stitched up, would make a lovely friend for Mr Fly

Melanie said...

Wow! It's absolutely stunning. I would have done the exclaim out loud bit, but I probably wouldn't have got to the take home and photograph bit. Or if I had, I would certainly not have managed such gorgeous images. Love!

Tracey said...

oooooooooooo isn't he/she beautiful!!!

Fer said...

So beautiful! It's lovely to be able to appreciate those delicate wings.

Kylie said...

I wish I could pop over for some spontaneous exclaiming ;) So very beautiful, so utterly exquisite. Thanks for for sharing this little find Tania :) Kx

Janet said...

S/he is very truly beautiful. We saw a teensy baby one the other day and exclaimed over that too.

TammyJ said...

You have photographed it beautifully. Thanks for pointing out the ant - he's looking around totally confused - where the heck am I am why is it so bright here?

NessaKnits said...

I found a huge one on a sock hanging on my cousin's line (in the country) as I was bringing the washing in and called my kids for an inspection during our recent school holidays. A wonder of nature's engineering.

1/4 of an inch said...

Okay, so my heart skipped a beat with over excitement at seeing these snaps.... I LOVE dragonflys....slightly obsessed actually, these photos are amazing Tan, given my over enthusiam with photography I have to ask what Lens you are using?

Like everything you do all I can say is SPECTACULAR...

Love to see him in the flesh:)

xxt

Nikki said...

I have been known to follow dragonflies around the garden, trying to get a closer look.

Consider this a telepathic, shared screech of excitement and a bit of a blather....

Posie Patchwork said...

Well Dragonflies are very important to Territorians (NT folk) as they are the first sign of the dry season, when we can all take a break from the monsoons, thunder storms & 6 months of non stop wet weather, which we embrace. When we lived in Darwin (twice) for 6+ years are children grew to love dragonflies. Love Posie

flowerpress said...

I don't think it's a coincidence that the dragonfly expired at your feet. I agree he needs embroidering!

crzylady said...

thank you for sharing your delight. It is hard to take the time to look so closely at things.

june at noon said...

What a neat way to photograph something so pretty. I'll take that cuppa!

CurlyPops said...

I love the way you look at the world (and at dead dragonflies)

Anonymous said...

Tarn,just beautiful. I love their delicate wings! Great photography!
I love to take time out and 'smell the roses'..that is when you do catch the beauty that surrounds us!
Must catch up for that cup of coffee or tea...
Love Jen

Michelle said...

Put the kettle on. I'll be over in a jiffy to exclaom over those delicate wings.

I love dragonflies so much. I almost called my business "Dragonfly Lane"!! But then realised it sounded too similar to the Gilmore Girls' Dragonfly Inn.

tea with lucy said...

Amazing pictures. Beautiful.

ecoMILF said...

Beautiful photos. Remind me of the simplicity yet at the same tim gorgeousness of life. xx m.

katiecrackernuts said...

You can't believe how glad I am you stopped and shared this with us. Truly beautiful. I collected and marvelled at cicadas last year. The wings were a marvel.

Cute as Buttons said...

Your bug fetish is winning me over...a bit. He looks so gorgeous in the pics and it is nice to think he is being appreciated. Lisa x

Kate said...

There is something so etherial and wonderful about dragonflies. I'm not sure if its their shape , their too big for body wings or the way they hover. And look at all the little shapes in those wings. Amazing.

Chicken Willow said...

The wings are glorious, I could study them all day. Love the little ant, brilliant photos. xx

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

So beautiful and delicate! You always manage to find beauty in everyday moments.

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Exquisite photos.
Thank you for reminding us that even dead dragonfly's are extremely beautiful.
I am again boggled at the state of your mind (but secretly I love it!)

brownhairblueribbon said...

I want to solo travel over for a cuppa!

I have a friend who takes pictures of stairwells and rubbish bins overseas and never any tourist things. She says she can look at them via other peoples pictures. I think she is correct. I am not so good at noticing things as you and her.

Good eyes you have

Angie said...

Beautiful & perfect for my Sunday evening blog-crawl.

Many, many stitches in the embroidered version of that one!

Liesl said...

I hope you are going to enter those in something-or-the-other photographic competition. I think they are some of the most beautiful photos I have seen.

Bianca said...

haha, aaah the imagery! crazy lady back flipping to pick up an insect from the road.

The world needs more people like you!

xB

beck said...

beautiful photo's honey! Loving your fascination xo

Mel said...

Yeah I'll look at your dragonfly but the cuppa is the thing I'm really after! Amazing shots Mrs. Like really really stunning. What amazing wings they have. It's true that we only have to look to nature for some of the most inspiring images.

You may hate this given the stunning "wholeness" of this specimen but my sister has suspended a few dragon fly's wings in resin for her jewellery. Of course they were from specimens found in the same state as yours. She doesn't go in for that school boy pulling the wings off living creatures caper.

Madeline said...

Gorgeous! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's intrigued by dead bugs. And, believe me you couldn't possibly come across as nearly so lunaticy as my sister does when she spots road kill in reasonably good condition. She puts skeletons together in her spare time, so dead critters come in handy.

Amanda said...

What a cool rare find. And the photos rock!! You lucked out on this one :)

Sandrine said...

Amazing shots Tania,the details in the wings...wow.

Stomper Girl said...

I'm not that interested in dead insects, to be honest, but I do love these photos. The wings are like lace!

elly bee said...

the cup of tea is for me!
and I will bring joris for another scream. we all love those finds and studies.

eb xx

Tas said...

Don't tell anyone but I prefer dragonflies to butterflies. They are awesome.

katiecrackernuts said...

Tania, You have no idea how humbled I am to know that a blog post has inspired you to do something so generous. It seems so amazingly simple, doesn't it, that to support the female population of a poverty-stricken country is such a powerful way to make change.

Thank you.

kellyi said...

Put the kettle on, I'll be over in a jiff. Shall I bring some custard creams or do Aussie shops stock them?

Give me about 24 hours, and I'll be there x

Jacqui Dodds said...

Beautiful photographs - it looks like the dragonfly is still in flight!
I am glad it's not just me who often wants to tell the world about something great they have just seen when you are by yourself. I sometimes do this and get strange looks and then feel really daft!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Your embroidery will make something wonderful out of this perfect silhouette .
A lucky find ! All I've managed to score , after walking nose to pavement this week , is one boring grey button and a bent thumbtack .
I should move to Melbourne , perhaps .

heather said...

you are my soul sister. i am now definitively certain. i came here because as i was looking through my new favorite artist's website, i saw her dead fly, and thought of you. here.

http://www.andreadezso.com/

look at her embroidery too. you will freak.

and then i see your dead dragonfly. of which we have just found one too. i have yet to photograph it, but i am very inspired to now, after seeing yours. you are my sister. and i have found your dragonfly's sister also. well, my kids found it, but still.

this morning on the way to school bus we saw a wolf i am sure. i am in love today. so much to glean.

Cindy said...

If we are casting stones at the lunatics, let the ones without drapgonflys tattooed on them start I think.
Hope you are well my friend.
xx

Suse said...

I was amazed to hear its wingspan is 11cm. Wow! Have you ever seen the dragonflies in America? They are much smaller than ours, but instead of helicopter brown they come in various iridescent shades of red, blue, green or gold. Absolultely enchanting.

ps. Blethering lunatic. *snort*

jo so and sew said...

I just caught up on ages worth of Whip Up and saw you there - wow!

Julia said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person out there who flips out over beautiful bugs.

I just discovered your posts about your granny square blanket and they have given much courage. I too am working on this project and it is taking over my life, my thoughts, my dreams. To see that you too had a similar experience inspires me to keep going with it.

Thank you! Happy weekend

Julia said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person out there who flips out over beautiful bugs.

I just discovered your posts about your granny square blanket and they have given much courage. I too am working on this project and it is taking over my life, my thoughts, my dreams. To see that you too had a similar experience inspires me to keep going with it.

Thank you! Happy weekend

Bonnie said...

I love the intricacies of the wings. I love to look at the details of things like that. It is so amazing! I like how you say "cuppa".

Di said...

One flew through our backyard today, and we all "oohed" and wished that it had lingered for longer so we could have a good look. Am therefore somewhat jealous of your opportunity to examine it so closely. Am expecting to see it rendered in french knots (or your next stitch of choice) one day soon...

GUGAW said...

beautiful! such a massive dragonfly, the ones we have over here are only babies compared to that

nikkishell said...

Beautiful! Did you see my photos of a dragonfly in our garden last year?-http://nikkishell.typepad.com/nikkishell/2009/10/a-garden-visitor.html

Sally said...

I love dragonflies. I like to draw them too... so easy. I'm not very good at drawing but the dragonfly I can do. It gives me a sense of pride and maturity in my developing artistry ... surely a dragonfly is a step up on the butterflies I drew in primary school? I captured this dragonfly image earlier in the year - total fluke but I'll own it.

fairchildstreet said...

Thanks for visiting. Yes they are amazing. Great shots. charmaine