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  • They're massing, filling the almost-dusk sky above the near field, dozens and dozens of them in wild, chaotic flight. It's as though I've stepped through to another time, another world, this buzzing sky backed by the primordial cry of the pileated woodpecker.

    We've never had such a visitation. In such numbers all at once.

    What does it mean? Have they come to announce the end of something? The beginning?

    With the earth burning hot hotter, with what I've read today and what I've watched today-- urgent pleas for us to take action to save our fragile planet, calls so urgent, warnings so dire--this cloud of dragonflies has freaked me out.

    I should be standing here in wonder, not dread. I should be laughing, not trembling.

    But I hold still. I stand in their swoops and zips and zags. I watch them, really watch them, and see little poems in the sky of "the order Odonata, the suborder Epiprocta or, in the strict sense, the infraorder Anisoptera." (Wikipedia) Surely they have arrived as gentle spirits to pull me from my comfortable seat, onto my tired feet, and into the pained, painful world. I smile. I hold my hands out.

    And then they vanish into the darkening sky. Just like that.
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