Take time to watch the dragonflies

July 21, 2019

They say, “Take time to smell the roses.” But frankly, I don’t recall ever finding the smell of roses all that special. My parents had a rosebush in their front yard, but what I remember most about it from my early childhood were the shiny copper and green Japanese beetles that crawled all over it. The flowers were far less interesting, though I suppose that could be in part because the Japanese beetles were getting the upper hand (or should it be upper maxilla?), and I don’t remember the rosebush at all from my later childhood.

The one flower aroma that I have generally found appealing is honeysuckle. At about the same age when I enjoyed watching Japanese beetles, I learned from my older sister how to eat the nectar from honeysuckle, which also grew in the front yard. I don’t remember what I used to think of the aroma of other flowers, but since an odd sickness several years ago that made me nauseous when I encountered any strong smell, even those I used to find pleasant, most of them I now find nauseating, unless the odor is very faint. (I hold my breath when walking past flower displays in the supermarket the week leading up to Mother’s Day.)

So I have no interest in taking time to smell roses, and I don’t linger to smell the honeysuckle. But I have always enjoyed spending time in nature, and this weekend I had the luxury of wandering around outside the bed-and-breakfast where my husband and I stayed as part of our vacation (also a belated 30th wedding anniversary getaway). This is rural Iowa, so the property is surrounded on at least two sides by cornfields (which I find quite nice-looking – I even took a few pictures, since I rarely have the chance to walk right up to a farmer’s field). But there is also a large pond in front of the house, and I sat there for quite a while enjoying the quiet, the solitude, and watching the birds and dragonflies darting around.

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