I have a little garden buddy that’s been hanging around the tomato plants for weeks. He is bright red and I keep wondering if it’s his camo outfit for hanging out with the tomatoes or if its coincidence. Can there be coincidences when it comes to insects? It seems everything is strategic with them. He hovers around the same “Sweet 100” cherry tomato plant. He must be stalking smaller bugs and I thank him. The top of the tomato cage (our tomato plants grow to the size of small trees) is about eye level and often he is perched there or on the very tip of an outermost leaf of an outermost branch.
I went out back around noon to see if I could find him to take his portrait. I spotted him and got close and then closer. Unfortunately, in all six pictures he’s just a blur because I was too close to focus. Curses upon you, camera phones. Now I have my real camera at the ready next to the back door.
I think of dragonflies as being delightfully eccentric yet humbly dignified insects. I love them for the the way they seem to defy physics. They have so much back end that sticks straight out, like a semi with floating freight. How is that possible with such skinny legs?
Dragonflies seem friendly because you can get close enough for a good look without them flying away in fear. When I’m just inches away I like to check out their funny necks. They move in a way that makes them seem like an advanced robot, or at least like a very wise and contemplative Star Wars character.
Dragonflies have prehistoric lineage. They say their larger ancestors flew among the dinosaurs 325 million years ago. Pristine Jurassic-period dragonfly fossils have been found in Bavaria, Germany.
But Red has more going for him than a prestigious family tree. Can a photo or a word convey such regality–the dizzy iridescence of armor in millions of hues and wings like the dark outlines in a stained glass pane? Metallics and lace–that’s a thing. Our good Lord loaded him with looks designers envy and probably copy. He’s a style king poised on a tomato cage runway. It’s fashion week here in the falling, yellowing garden.
He must be insect royalty. I guess that makes me the paparazzi.