We are constantly visited in our little corner of the county, and each bit of fauna has its own story. I found the tree frog in the bottom of a flower pot that was holding a bag of decorative stones. I removed the bag of stones and there was the frog sitting in a pool of water. I thought he was some forgotten ornament at first and then, when I realized he was real, figured he was dead. But he climbed onto my hand and after quite a while decided to wander onto a waiting leaf.
The dragon flies seem to be very intuitive and trusting. This one kept returning to the dried stalk and posing. One night, at my parents cottage, I could hear a loud flapping, in the dark, on the porch where I slept. I knew there was some large insect trying to get out into the night air, and freedom, but couldn’t seem to find him. When I got up in the morning to watch the sunrise and then return to my bed, a huge dragon fly was lying right in the centre of the bed. He climbed onto my hand and let me release him outdoors.
I had been packing up some outdoor mosquito netting last summer, and just as I tossed the folded net to the ground I quickly retrieved it again, as I caught sight of this beautiful praying mantis. He too was very co-operative about having his picture taken. I’m sure I appeared as curious to him as he did to me. Last weekend as I salvaged the vegetable garden from a couple of very heavy downpours mixed with days of baking sun, which had turned the soil to an arid brick-like texture, I noticed a baby one of these. It reminded me that, earlier in the year, while taking a bus from Toronto because the train I was supposed to be on had derailed, I was seated beside a lovely woman, about my age, and the conversation turned towards nature. She told me the praying mantis was a gift and a blessing. These beings seem like glorious pieces of living jewellery that catch my eye and are more difficult to possess than an emerald or sapphire brooch might be.