Thursday, June 11, 2009


Yesterday, after nearly five days of overcast, cool, and often rainy weather, the sun finally came out in the Twin Cities metro area.

My friends Ken and Carol, who live in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, hosted an enjoyable gathering at their home late yesterday afternoon, and after dinner those in attendance took advantage of the improved weather and spent time in Ken and Carol’s beautiful back garden. It was here that I took the photographs that accompany this post – including a couple of great ones of a dragonfly.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about the dragonfly in folklore and myth:

In Europe, dragonflies have often been seen as sinister. Some English vernacular names, such as “devil’s darning needle” and “ear cutter,” link them with evil or injury. A Romanian folk tale says that the dragonfly was once a horse possessed by the devil. This is also seen in the Maltese culture where the word for dragonfly – “Debba ta’ l-infern” – literally means Hell’s mare. Swedish folklore holds that the devil uses dragonflies to weigh people’s souls.

. . . In East Asia and among Native Americans, dragonflies have a far better reputation, one that can also be said to have positively influenced modern day views about dragonflies in most countries, in the same vein as the insect’s namesake, the dragon, which has a positive image in the east, but initially had an association with evil in the west.

For some Native American tribes they represent swiftness and activity, and for the Navajo they symbolize pure water. Dragonflies are a common motif in Zuni pottery; stylized as a double-barred cross, they appear in Hopi rock art and on Pueblo necklaces. It is said in some Native American beliefs that the dragonfly is a symbol of renewal after a time of great hardship.

. . . In Japan dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and they often appear in art and literature, especially haiku. In ancient mythology, Japan was known as Akitsushima, which means “Land of the Dragonflies.”. The love for dragonflies is reflected by the fact that there are traditional names for almost all of the 200 species of dragonflies found in and around Japan.

Above: My friend Sue Ann took this photo of me as I was preparing to photograph the dragonfly. That’s my friend Kathleen with me.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Mary Jo’s Lakeside Garden
A Perfect Day
Spring Garden
A Morning in the Garden
A Springtime Visitor
“Jubilation is My Name” – Spring in Minnesota (2008)
Spring in Minnesota (2007)

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