I often catch myself doing things that I wonder if others would find peculiar.
For example, I like to watch my fingers turn pruney in the water. Also, I like to float.
I like to float and slowly move through the water without disturbing it. A seemingly impossible task, but I try. I always have. I try to maneuver around, propelling myself slowly, like a crocodile, with only the top half of my head peering above the surface.
Last summer, while camping on Pender Island, we found ourselves at this place called Magic Lake and it certainly lived up to its name. I think, because I grew up in the city and was from a non-driving family, my lake experience is quite lacking – so this place gave me tingles. You walk out into the lake on a dock, then jump in and swim out to another small dock that you don’t want to get on because the birds have fully claimed it as their own. No motor boats, no jet skis, no loud parties. A few families, sun bathers, a couple stand up paddle boarders – and the dragonflies.
You don’t really notice them unless you’re me and decide to swim farther out, away from the other humans. Pretty blue dragonflies dance along the water’s surface. I am immediately aware of their presence and am mindful that if I splash around too much, I might get one wet. Their wings look so delicate, that I can’t imagine they do well submerged. Most insects are pretty resilient, but I don’t want to risk it – I would be crushed if I accidently drowned one – so I start treading water, allowing my head to bob on the surface, and watching in amazement as hundreds of beautiful dragonflies do their little water dance all around me. It doesn’t take long before I am face-to-face with my first…coupling. I laugh and blush a little. One just jumps right on top of another and their wings flutter like mad, all while their legs skirt the surface of the lake in a little romantic frenzy. I turn to give them some privacy, only to discover that I am now in the middle of a dragonfly orgy. Not an ounce of timidity in the air, except my own. Groups of 2 – 3 – 4, bouncing, landing, competing. I am giggling and fully entranced by this mating ritual. The number of dragonflies participating grows to such a large amount, that my worries of disturbing them intensify, so I start to make my move to float away from them…carefully, inch by inch.
I’m participating in the 100 Day Project on Instagram where I will be drawing #100insects in 100 days. There won’t always be a story along with my subject, but when there is, I will be sure to post it here.