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Dragonfly Lair

Dragonfly LairDragonfly Lair

As you know, one of my favorite places to be is Volo Bog. Here, the Arrowhead has gone to seed. It is a hot day toward the end of summer and if you walk quietly you’ll see the dragonflies lurking. Thanks to them, the mosquitoes and biting flies are rarely a problem there as they are elsewhere. I chose a slightly different set of colors for this painting, relying much more on blues and greens. A wash of red across the background yielded some nice soft colors I really like. I wanted this painting to have a bit of an abstract feel but still convey a hot day at the bog.

By the way, I was at the bog again yesterday with my daughter and we saw THIS lurking in the water:



YIKES!! Pretty cool, though. It is a water snake. I thought it was an eastern water snake but I think when we looked it up it was a northern water snake. I believe it has its head hiding under the mat of vegetation there. Because that way we couldn’t see it, right?

29 thoughts on “Dragonfly Lair

  1. Beautiful! I love the dragonfly and the trio of arrowheads
    looks like a pretty good-sized water snake! Not my favorite snake, they can be a little bit aggressive sometimes, but this one does look like it’s trying it’s best to snooze or hide.

    1. Its nickname is Fang and yes, it was pretty large. I was delighted/horrified to make his acquaintance. Incidentally, I’m told that the garter snakes here are a particularly aggressive race, the Chicago garter. Of course they are! Gangsta Garters! I came across a big one in the field once and it reared up in a coil just like a rattler. When I tried to edge past it it struck out at me. I’m pretty sure you could hear me scream in Wisconsin.
      Thank you for your kind comment 🙂

      1. I thought you were kidding about the Chicago Garter (“What does Al Capone use to keep his socks up?”) but when I looked it up, the wikipedia entry said, it will sometimes emerge from hibernation, during warm winter days, to bask?? Now we got Snow Snakes?! yikes! Giant Ice Spiders can’t be far behind.

      2. LOL! 😀 Shudder…

      3. You’d at least think one good thing about all that cold and snow would be a snake and spider-free season, wouldn’t you?

  2. Your painting is beautiful, Melissa. The dragonfly looks like a little fairy. 😊

    1. Thank you so much! Now that you mention it, it does look like a fairy! 🙂

  3. I like the vertical presentation in your painting. The snake in the water would have been enough to launch me into the trees.

    1. Thank you. Ha, yeah, it was a shock to see the snake there in the water. I do like snakes but there is something about snakes in the water that freak me out.

  4. Yikes is right! Me no like snakes!

    1. Aw, but they are kinda cool. Of course, I don’t run into dangerous snakes here so it is easy for me to say that.

      1. I admit they are kinda cool – but not cuddly. We have small harmless garter snakes in our region – all the rattlesnakes live in the Interior of British Columbia – I met a few as a young man when I attended an Outward Bound Survival Course many many years ago – but never got bitten.

      2. I remember the relatively sweet garter snakes from living out there as a child. Not like the garter snakes from here at all. Good to know the rattlesnakes live inland. Good for them~I’ll stay coastal! That is so cool that you did an Outward Bound coarse. I don’t think I’d survive that.

      3. Haha – funny, my wife and I just saw a beautiful garter snake on our walk today today. It was hanging out in some weeds in front of a very long wall stone wall so we got to follow it as it squiggled along the wall and finally made it into the woods.

      4. When I was a kid we lived in a wild area and a tribe of garters called our yard home. I think they were not the aggressive Chicago garters because I handled them with ease. Once I came across a nest of babies ~how cute they were!

      5. Oh for Goodness Snakes!

      6. 😀 😀 Good one!

  5. Your painting surely did convey a sense of a hot day at the bog. I see snakes now and then slithering away from me out in the yard and lizards, too! They generally elicit a rather loud squeak from me (startling Eric, of course) and then they’re usually gone. There’s just something about that weird movement they do that’s so unsettling.

    1. In many of the places we lived when I was a kid we would have lizards but they don’t occur here, sadly. Fortunately almost all of the snakes we have are non-venomous so I could encourage my kids to watch them. We even had one for a pet for a short while. It was a little brown snake, and it ate worms. But in the field, I’m the same, emitting loud squeaks when I see the slither!

  6. Eek is right about the snake! Hopefully it’s not a poisonous one.

    I love Damsels, and Dragonflies. I’m always trying to photograph them, but am rarely successful. Your painting is lovely. I really like the blues, and greens.

    1. Thank you! I love them too. You’re right~they are really hard to capture.
      Haha yeah, Fang the snake was pretty alarming. He isn’t poisonous but still packs a nasty bite, I’ve heard.

      1. Our most favorite groomer for Diva Dog had poodles. She loved them. I miss her. It’s been many years since they moved and I still think she trimmed Diva Dog the very best. 🙂

        I tend to see Teacup Poodles, or the BIG ones, not really the small ones anymore. You’re right about that.

  7. Beautiful painting. A real sense of discovery when you find a dragonfly in amongst the vegetation. I’ve seen a couple of snakes recently. One venomous one not. Neither bothered me. I would be very nervous if I came across a cobra though. We have 2 species here. I would want a very long telephoto lens to hang around and take their picture! But I would spend all day with the dragonflies. Love them.

  8. Thank you Andrew. Yes, that is just what I wanted to convey, that happy surprise. Eek~cobras! But you’re right, it would be pretty fascinating to get a photo of one. From a distance.

  9. Yikes is right! I love this painting. You make me think I need to visit Volo Bog again – haven’t been there in years. I also need to get back to Moraine Hills State Park.

  10. Beautiful painting! the snake would have freaked me out! Lol. ~Rita

    1. If it had made a move for the boardwalk, I’d still be screaming I think. 😀

  11. What a happy painting with the dragonfly and the arrowheads. The verticality works well (even if WordPress doesn’t know that that’s a word). I’m glad I’ve been to the setting, Volo Bog.

    1. Thank you, Steve! Indeed, whenever I go there now I think of you and Eve.

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