The Widow Skimmer

(Libellula luctuosa)

I was out in one of the meadows on Saturday, watching the red-winged blackbirds, when I heard a faint buzzing sound in the high grasses behind me.  I looked and there was a dragonfly.  It is, I think, a female widow skimmer.  Did you know that the compound eyes of the dragonfly have up to 30,000 facets, each one being a separate light-sensing organ which gives the dragonfly nearly a 360° field of vision?  I didn’t.  It was one of those fascinating factoids I found while trying to identify Ms. Dragonfly.  (Be sure to click on the dragonfly for a larger view.  You’ll see more that way.)

(Agelaius phoeniceus , red-winged blackbird)

I’ve been having a devil of a time capturing birds with the camera.  I don’t understand it, especially in view of the fact that the dragonflies and damselflies have been making things relatively easy for me.  Birds, especially the robins and red-winged blackbirds, should not be that difficult to capture.  We have plenty of them and when I’m not aiming the camera at them, most are not terribly shy.  Perhaps that’s it.  They are camera shy.  Or just plain teases.  Especially the red-winged blackbirds.  They pose nearby and as soon as I get the camera ready, they take off with a red-winged blackbird form of laughter, taunting me.

I had a good break.  I didn’t go completely cold turkey.  I posted over at my other blog:  Bountiful Healing.  I post there for attitude adjustments.  It works, most of the time.

I got caught up on some homecaring (cleaning, laundry, various and sundry other chores) and worked in the garden.  I took walks around the pond and property while also taking plenty of photos.  I cleaned up the computer, decluttering My Photos now that I’ve realized I don’t have to save everything and learned that my Photoshop skills are not good enough to save a bad picture.  The decluttering felt good.  I did a little of that around the house as well.  I am learning to appreciate letting go.

M worked on the trench, filling it in with bricks, mortar, and dirt.  It is no longer a trench.  It is now the foundation for a brick wall.  Much rejoicing!  I know the poor man was getting tired of bailing and siphoning the rain from the trench.  There will be no need for that anymore.

(M relaxing on the deck.)

It wasn’t all work and no play.  We relaxed on the deck, rowed around the pond at sunset, and watched a movie (“Whip It”) and caught some World Cup action (USA vs. England… thank you, England, for giving us that goal).

(In the rowboat.)

On Sunday we took the 2-1/2 hour trip south to see our oldest granddaughter, Emma, perform in a dance recital.  She was, as expected, magnificent (and oh so cute!!).  I’d love to post a thousand pictures of her but stopped doing that a while back so as not to invade her privacy (because I believe even 5-year-olds are entitled to some privacy and she hasn’t signed a model release form*).  Emma’s younger sister, Maddy, charmed us with her big blue eyes and magical smile.  I am certain I have the two most beautiful granddaughters in the world.

It was a good break.  It was a refreshing and recharging time-out after having completed May’s NaBloPoMo and then continued to post as if I had signed up for June’s version of it.

So… if you’re feeling burnt out.  Take a break.  It helps.  🙂

*Just to head you off (because I’m sure someone will offer advice or comments on this):  I know I do not need a model release form when posting for non-commercial purposes.  It was a small (okay, wee) joke.


6 Comments on “The Widow Skimmer”

  1. Joanne says:

    Hello Robin, 🙂

    Again I have to say, I so enjoy taking little walks, and today a row in the boat, around your property, sharing the photos with you and also today hearing about your grandchildren! Just lovely…

    I have a 17 year old daughter, Emma, so I can well imagine your Emma is as gorgeous as mine. 😉

    The birds in my garden refuse to pose for a photo session also. My cats and dog are the same, though; must be an inbuilt instinct, for goodness-knows-whatever-reason!

    Have a wonderful week. 🙂

  2. Robin says:

    Hi Joanne. And welcome back. 🙂

    I enjoy sharing the pond and property with others. It’s such a lovely bit of the earth.

    I would venture to say that all Emmas are gorgeous. 🙂 And it’s good to know I’m not the only one experiencing a lack of cooperation from the birds. 😉

  3. Kala says:

    I adore the red winged blackbirds. They flit around in local forest preserves and arboretums here and there call is so unique.

    • Robin says:

      Kala: I had the hardest time seeing red-winged blackbirds for a long time. My husband was always pointing them out (usually when we were driving down the road somewhere) and I’d always miss them. About 10 years ago I finally saw one for the first time and have been seeing them pretty much everywhere since.

  4. Meredith says:

    Oh man, I just saw “Whip It” too!! Did you love it? My friend and I were cracking up about it, it was just too good!

    • Robin says:

      I thought it was a fun movie, Meredith. It gave me some idea of what my sister is up to now that she’s into roller derby. It looks like fun. 🙂


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