Promising myself to take a much-needed break from photography and from blogging, I nonetheless took the camera out on a dog walk for a rather predictable reason. I wanted to get some shots of the tiniest lanterns--dandelions lit by the golden hour.

Naturally, I ended up chasing a dragonfly for quite some time instead. In heels (I still maintain some of my city habits)! And with a basset who didn't share my enthusiasm (it's been 100 F / 35 C all day).  

Below is the same image repeated. I prefer the composition of the original: 

But the closeup of this beautiful monster is too good not to share:

The vibrant background colors, incidentally, were generated by the sky, the mountains, and all the plants and flowers behind the subject.

This impromptu photoshoot made me recall the diversity of myth surrounding this insect. The most popular story about it in Russia is probably that from Krylov's fables about the lazy dragonfly preoccupied only with entertainment and egotistical pursuits and a hardworking aunt. (Granted, the original is from Aesop, and is about a grasshopper, not a dragonfly.) In contrast, in Japan, the reading seems to be quite positive, with the imperial founding myth being the most obvious example thereof.  Of course, the latter is not unlike the serpent archetype in Slavic versus East Asian cultures. 

Be that as it may, my aforementioned break might have to be delayed for a while!