June 10, 2012

Love for dragonflies keeps growing

My mother called them Devil’s Darning Needles. She convinced me that if I uttered bad words, they would come into my bedroom at night and sew my lips together. I made sure my window was closed and tried hard to use kinder thoughts and words. Sometimes it actually worked.

There were also legends about the dangers of sleepinwg outside and having these four-winged creatures sew our eyes shut. It never deterred us from “camping out” in the backyard.

As I grew older, my opinion of the wonderful insects we know as dragonflies turned completely around, and I now relish them as beneficent and friendly — even magical. I’ve written about them previously, but I do so again with even greater admiration.

If you were to visit our home, you would see many items on the walls, hanging from the ceiling and in photo albums that reference the dragonfly. Kaye and I cherish them and flutter inside when one lands on a shoulder or sidewalk.

We have an artist friend in Georgia who used her Native American wisdom to “read” Kaye’s personality and future. She concluded that Kaye should forever be known as “Dragonfly” and still calls her by that name.

There are dragonflies throughout a local beauty shop we visit and the owner — like us — is a huge fan.

We had never seen dragonflies in large numbers before Memorial Day weekend while we camped at Cole’s Creek on the St. Lawrence River. When I say they came in like the biblical plague of locusts, I don’t exaggerate. As we set up the camper, they arrived like Ezekiel and his windstorm. There were thousands all around us. For me, it was like nirvana.

I watched other camping families and noticed some were terrified. I wanted to rush about telling them that dragonflies are harmless to humans, but I just stood there mesmerized. Those who know me best have learned that I am curious, if nothing else. I have a burning desire to “know,” and that pursuit has sometimes caused me problems. Another of my mother’s many admonitions was “Curiosity killed the cat.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time