Sunday, October 14, 2012
Also called the Mosquito Hawk, or the Lord of June, dragonflies are among the fastest fliers in the insect kingdom. At a zippy 35 miles per hour, they can give a racehorse a run for its money. When we were kids, we called dragonflies "snake doctors".
The Green Darner dragonfly (Anax junius), is commonly found in the Olympic Mountains near water. They can be seen darting about the pond from April to September. Male Darners patrol their territory about eight feet off the ground and about eight feet from the pond's edge. The Green Darner is one of 38 species of dragonfly found in the United States.
When "dragon flight" came to Huckleberry Hollow, a whole new era of rain forest aviation was born. Suddenly, a weekend retreat to the high meadows was within easy reach for the tiny forest creatures. Transporting goods several miles was suddenly entirely possible. Dragonfly Express offices sprang up in villages throughout the rain forest.
What would become of the simple life and the old ways of the rain forest? This concerned Mrs. Trowbridge more than a little. She mentioned it many times in her journal. Yet she often spoke with fondness of the first dragon flight that she took with her family to the high meadows.
The rocky outcroppings that you see in Mrs. T's painting are where the rarest of the rare wildflowers are to be found. I have many times seen the Piper's Bellflower and the Flett's Violet -- both rare Olympic endemics -- clinging to life in the crevices of pillow lava outcroppings near a summit on many occasions during my Olympic treks into the high country.
I took these two photographs in Royal Basin in the Northern Olympic range. It's a veritable garden spot, with wildflowers blooming everywhere across the meadows. There are three levels in the basin. We hiked to the uppermost basin and camped here. The rocky outcroppings that you see in the photos are where you will find the rare Olympic endemic flowers that I mentioned above.
Would you like to see my other blog? It looks completely different than the Trowbridge blog. All of the work in my Bron Smith's Flights of Fantasy blog is my work. I wouldn't want to confuse my work with Mrs. T's beautiful watercolor journal pages.