You can see three Dragonflies in my painting - one large dark one near the top, a more distant one against the lake on the left hand side, and over near the right hand edge, the glistening horizontal wings of one perched on the weather-bleached branch on the rock pile.
We hiked up here to see where the Five Lined Skinks live, quick copper-brown creatures with bright blue tails. We don't really expect to see any in the early afternoon of such an unseasonably hot day. What is special about today is the Dragonflies - large ones, small ones, with short stout abdomens and long thin ones, broad abdomens banded with white, red ones, black ones... Owen takes photos of several different kinds as I sit here painting the whole active scene - it is as if the world is dancing up here on the Dome!
Bushes of Northern Arrowwood are blooming with frothy white flowers, raining tiny petals onto moss and lichen. It is dry up here. Whatever can survive is stunted - White Oak and Shagbark Hickory look healthy but they are small for their age. We see signs all around us of die-back from last year's drought, Staghorn Sumac, Red Maple, and young White Pine.
As we leave I am still enthusing about the Dragonflies, and Fred mentions that shortly after we arrived, he saw a large Dragonfly carrying a Bumblebee! He didn't see how it turned out, or whether the Bumblebee was being successful in stinging its captor in flight.
Dear patrons and supporters,
This original painting is available for $275, in support of our biodiversity surveys and conservation research. For more information, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org