Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wacky weather and dragonflies

After I picked up Hodge, who, I am told, was well behaved (I assume this is relative to his typical behavior versus relative to that of a normal cat), I went to Bonjour for coffee and sat inside. I noticed some cloud buildup in the west, and the temperature seemed a bit cooler when I came out.

On my way back, the sky to the east was mostly sunny, but a dark cloud loomed directly overhead, and when I reached Hyde Park Boulevard at 55th Street, the westerly wind began driving large, scattered drops of rain into my back and backside. A couple across the street held their umbrella straight in front in a defensive posture, but when it's this windy, you're simply going to end up wet with a torn-up umbrella.

The light changed, and I continued on. East of Everett Avenue, the sidewalks were dry—they weren't even blotchy from the large, erratic raindrops. I looked back to the west and saw that the sky was clear in the same spot where the black rain cloud had hovered just minutes before. I wondered if it had moved over the lake that quickly and had stopped spitting rain as it moved.

This evening the wind has picked up, knocking over the pool and lawn furniture with abandon. Now the temperature is comfortably cool, and I would like to sit outdoors a while longer even as I batten down tea glass, notebook, and everything else that seems weightless to the gusts.

When I first came out, I spotted an enormous dull green dragonfly with a purplish "tail." It tried to settle on one of the evergreens, but at that moment the wind kicked up and thrashed the bush around so much that I thought the dragonfly had had to let go or had been beaten to death by the flailing limbs.

During a brief lull, I was startled to see it take off and fly straight toward me, just a foot or two away. I thought it would dart past me, but it latched onto me, right in the middle of my left chest area, if you can picture that. "Great," I thought, "if anyone sees me they'll wonder why and how I'm nursing this giant dragonfly. 'Do you often walk around with a huge dragonfly attached to your chest?' they'll think, and perhaps even ask." How could I answer that, asked or unasked? Fortunately, my dragonfly friend and I were quite alone.

I love dragonflies and normally would enjoy the opportunity to see one so close at rest, but this seemed a little too intimate. With an unconscious, indiscernible movement, I persuaded the dragonfly to seek shelter somewhere more stable.

Nonetheless, perhaps it will bring me better luck.

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