Douglas County, Oregon: June 20, 2011
We left the house unprepared to go much of anywhere. We had a docent meeting to attend at Wildlife Safari where we volunteer. Fortunately much of our volunteering there is taking photos so we had the cameras with us.
When the meeting was over it was too nice a day to go home. We picked up ‘Subways’ (big sandwiches) for lunch and even stopped at the grocery store for crackers, canned beans, sardines and fruit. In this country we never go far off paved roads without emergency supplies. I always have a basket ready at home … but that is where it still sat. By now we had decided to drive out on the Coos Bay Wagon Road where the wildflowers are just bursting with spring energy during this wetter than usual spring.
But first we stopped to eat our Subways along Lookingglass Creek. Dale knew I wanted a quick peek to see if the dragonflies were flying down there. We ate and then I grabbed a camera and went down to the creek bank.
Summer sun; long lush green grasses; ash and big leafed maple trees rustle above me; the creek gurgles where it reaches a shallow rapids -- so summery, a commodity that has been in short supply this cool, wet spring.
Yes, the river jewelwings are flying, along with a few other dragonflies and damselflies. River jewelwings have to be one of the prettiest damselflies. First of all, they are big enough to actually see, and their bodies are rich metallic blues and greens. Male jewelwings have clear wings with dark tips. Females have smoky dark wings with bright white pterostigmas and a burnished gold glow on their metallic green bodies. Simply beautiful.
That last sight is too much. I hike back to the car and show Dale my photo taken with a short lens. He takes one look and grabs the big lens and tripod and comes down to join me at creek side. Dale is a patient man. He stands glued to a spot near the iris for nearly two hours. The jewelwings spend nearly all that time chasing each other, but occasionally one pauses for a rest. Even more occasionally one rests on the iris. Dale finally gets his pictures, then starts roaming the creek side.
Some would say this is the second day of summer, that summer has finally arrived. I’m sweaty, sticky, salty … and savoring every minute spent alongside this creek.
It's nearly 6 PM when we finally pack up and head home. No Coos Bay Wagon Road for us today.