#21 My Re-enchantment Story


Photo: This dragonfly—an unfamiliar meadowhawk, I think—was caught in a spider web on the fence lining the elevated walkway running through Tuckahoe Creek Park in Henrico, Virginia, near where our son, Louis Gakumba, lives with his kiddos, Malka and Sheja (age 6 and 4). I thought the dragonfly was dead until I pulled it from the spider web (I didn’t see a spider and the web was disheveled and seemed to be no longer in use.) The dragonfly started moving in my hand, struggling to free itself from the silk strands. Its damaged wings were stuck together and once I was able to pull them apart, it began moving around as if it might fly off. I placed it on the top of a post and watched it for a few minutes as it frantically tried to clear the web strands from its eyes. I left it there and when we came back 30 minutes later, it was gone. Either it flew off or fell into the creek. This is a spectacular and wild place. Besides hearing (according to our Merlin App) 27 bird species (including a barred owl and many red-shouldered hawks, seeing a pileated wood pecker and great egret, we saw numerous mushrooms (definitely some Destroying Angels—Amanita–I call all the ghostly white Amanitas “Destroying Angels, although I think only one actual species has that as a common name), and some perfect orbed webs, one with a small spider centered in it.  I made notes on five different dragonflies I saw. 1) large darner, blue green eyes, dark abdomen; 2) smaller with green thorax and green and brown abdomen; 3) skimmer (?) with black head and eyes, purplish abdomen; 4) skimmer with blue eyes, pruinose abdomen, perhaps a blue dasher.  I’ll look them up later.