With distinctive colors, wild flights, and alien looks, dragonflies are among the most charismatic of insects—and now is a great time to see them.
Author: Kitty Leaken
In 2016, a Lakota woman told Kitty Leaken the story of her son’s recovery from a serious lung illness. “They were wondering what to name him when a dragonfly flew into the room,” Leaken says. The boy became Tusweca, “Breath of the Dragonfly.” Leaken, a Santa Fe–based photographer, began digging into the dragonfly’s role in Native culture. Her new blog, Dancing with the Dragonfly, shares her findings, including how hard it is to take their picture. “The darners, for example, patrol constantly and never stop moving.” Shown on her shoulder above is a gray petaltail (Tachopteryx thoreyi). “Geneticists believe it has been on earth, essentially unchanged, for 100 million years.”