Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Dragonfly Tale

You know, this summer dragonflies seem to be a recurring theme in my world.  Dragonfly imagery and meanings have popped up all over the place.  But as my summer began to gradually draw to a close, the dragonflies began tapering off.  Until yesterday.

This weekend, a girlfriend took me to tour one of those old, amazing mansions from the turn of the century--back when walls were two feet thick and made of granite and burled oak and maple were everywhere.  The house was unbelievable--we started in the basement, ended in the attic, and on the tour the tourguide had a fascinating anecdote to share.

As she showed us a teacup with a dragonfly motif on the handle, the tourguide told us of her first visit to the mansion a few years ago--only days before a huge storm came through and decimated the city.  At the end of the tour she and her docent stood on the front veranda and watched as a large swarm of dragonflies flew past.  Amused, she turned to the docent, who appeared shaken.  Our tourguide asked what was wrong.

news.nationalgeographic.com
"Here on the island, the oldtimers have a wives' tale," the docent said.  Apparently, according to local lore you only see dragonflies behave like that if a REALLY big storm is coming.  Hurricane Ike blew through a few days later.

Intrigued, you know I had to find out more.  Sadly, the magickal Internet fairy was not very forthcoming.  I found loads on dragonfly symbolism--mirage, illusion, metamorphosis, truth, yada yada yada.  I already knew that.  What I wanted was more on weather prediction, but all I could find was this tiny tidbit:
"...in a drought prone area of the coastal Ninh Thuan province, farmers believe that if the dragonfly flies high it will be sunny and if it flies low there will be rain.  In north-central Thua Thien Hue Province, fishermen are likely to bring their boats back to the shore if, in January or February, they look to the north and see a silver cloud that quickly disappears, as it is a sign of cold weather."  (http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/07/16/idUSBKK540163) 

That was it.  I Googled my little fingers to nubs looking for confirmation of this wives' tale and found jack.  Still, I'll be watching my dragonfly friends just a little more closely from now on, and if they start massing in numbers, I'm outa here!

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