Photo: My friend, @kelindquist thinks this might be a female blue dasher.
A few days ago, before breakfast with friends, I wandered out into their field. In my dragonfly trance, I found myself gravitating toward the pond in the distance. Had I not been there before, I might not have known there was a pond behind the thick wall of new growth from an entire summer of rain. That I couldn’t immediately find the entrance to the dock I knew was there was the first psychic clue I ignored, telling me that the pond was off limits. I wanted to see what action might be taking place on the pond’s surface. (I’d been on that dock a dozen times, always seeing a few different species of damsels, not to mention ducks and once a great blue heron.) The second clue was the massive curtain made of spider webs I had to cut through with my hands. Then shoulder-high wet grasses which soaked me. The final obstacle was a fence made of horizontal branches of young white pines woven together. I’d pushed through each of these challenges and stepped down onto the dock, which let out a loud creak, as if surprised by my presence. A mallard took off from inside the shadow at the far edge. Thousands of silvery water bugs spun circles in the center of the pond. As expected, two bright blue damsels patrolled the pond off the end of the dock. Although the dock seemed fine, some warning bells went off as I stepped onto its rotting surface. Testing each step, I crept to the end for a good glimpse of the damsels, to which I recently committed to learning more about. (Are they dancers? Or bluets?). Turning to go back, I felt secure enough to let my guard down. As I transferred my weight onto my right leg during my second step, I broke through, crashing into the void. My left leg collapsed beneath me and my knee cracked like a giant knuckle, the sound of breaking adhesions from my many surgeries. Or so I hoped. Writhing in pain I struggled to pull my soaked right leg back through the jagged hole I’d made in the rotten dock. I limped to breakfast and have been limping since. My knee is swollen and black and blue. I’ll ice it for a week before seeing a doctor. I ignored the warnings.