The Dance of the Dragonflies

Today was another of those perfect Alberta summer days. Heading to Chickakoo Recreation Area, we enjoyed more than two hours hiking along the trails, up and down the hills and around the ponds, lakes and marshes. The sky was deep blue, the sunshine bright and the odd small puffy scout cloud drifted across the sky before disappearing below the horizon.

The air was ripe with the sounds of summer. Small groups of fellow hikers passed, their conversations floating on the breeze before melting into the dense green foliage. Runners with their dogs breathed by, their light steps in sharp contrast to our hiking boot clad feet. A couple of people on horseback trotted slowly, allowing their mounts purchase through the muddy areas, the odd snort from the horses mingling with the steady clop of their shod feet. Birdsong was everywhere and the distinct call of the loon added to the ambiance of the adventure.

Afterwards, we sat by the water eating our lunch. Have you ever noticed how much better food tastes when eaten outdoors? The delicious flavours mingled on our taste buds, filled our hungry stomachs, soothed our thirst and satisfied our senses.

Dragonflies guarded our picnic, keeping mosquitoes at bay and providing a variety of dances for our viewing pleasure. Never lingering long enough for a photo, they dipped and wove, soared and hovered, staying close but never invasive. Their wings shone coppery in the sunlight on their shimmering green, red or orange bodies. We were mesmerized by their beauty and captivated by the moment.

When we were done, we rose and with a last look at the lake, we made our way back to the van.

A few dragonflies accompanied us on our walk and then flitted away, dancing to their own music into the sunshine. Shading our eyes, we watched them depart before heading home with a sigh.

A simply perfect August day.