The backyard was lush and green after the week’s heavy rain. The air felt chilly and damp as I picked up windfalls from our beacon apple tree. Soaked, bedraggled bumble bees and long-horned bees clung to Joe-Pye blossoms and the undersides of leaves. Only a few crickets chirped in the unusually cool August evening air. As I reached into the garden to pull some weeds, I felt a fluttering against my fingers and heard the slightest rustle of wings. Barely grasping my fingertips was a beautiful green dragonfly —a common green darner. Its aqua-green thorax and dark maroon abdomen hinted that it was probably a female or juvenile. I thought it was injured, or perhaps dying. Gently, I held my hand next to some sedum plants. The dragonfly struggled onto the flower buds and I left it for the night.
In the morning, the green darner was gone. I found no scattered wings or chitin, no other remains in the garden to indicate that it had been eaten. I believe that the sun’s warmth revived it. Since then, I’ve glimpsed a large dragonfly zooming over the garden on several different days; perhaps it is the same one. I hope that it lives to make the long migration flight south to the Gulf Cost in September.