Posted in Memories of Green, Reading List

Chasing Dragonflies

Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History by Cindy Crosby, is an engaging, beautifully illustrated introduction to these remarkable insects. As warm as it is informative, this book will interest gardeners, readers of literary nonfiction, and those intrigued by transformation, whether in nature or our personal lives. (Original watercolors by Peggy Macnamara)

Dragonfly: Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata
Dragonfly: Flame Skimmer*
Damselflies: Common Blue, Enallagma cyathigerum
Damselflies: Common Blue*

*Coachella Valley Preserve, Southern California

“After learning about the dragonfly’s life cycle, I found that I never look at a pond or a stream or a river—or even a puddle—in the same way. Dragonfly populations of various species are directly linked to how a stream flows, or to the substrate in the bottom of a pond, or to the disturbance of a watershed. Drill a well? Your dragonfly populations may change. Channel a stream? Ditto. When water quality and availability change, our dragonfly populations and species compositions may change as well. Sure—dragonflies as an order of insects are tough. They are long-term survivors. But development, pollution, and climate change may have an impact on them over time.” —Cindy Crosby

I’ve been following Cindy’s blog, Tuesdays in the Tallgrass: Exploring exterior and interior landscapes through the tallgrass prairie, for a year or more. Each week she posts photos, quotes, and reflections from her prairie walks in northeastern Illinois that renew our spirits through her thoughtful meditations.