It’s dragonfly season.
You know how we mark time by the seasons? Spring, summer, winter, fall. The snow falls, the leaves turn, or the spring bulbs pop up. Well, here, in October it’s dragonfly season. Right now they are swirling through the air, twenty feet up, swooping and spinning in figure eights and circles. There are fifty of them, sometimes a hundred, in a literal dragonfly tornado. They come in groups, and when I crane my neck up I can see them against the bright blue, pink and orange sunset sky.
There are so many of them. Last Saturday when I ordered a local spinach salad, it had a dragonfly in it, and I thought, well of course.
There are other seasons here. In May, it snows.
Well, it doesn’t actually snow. We don’t have snow here.
It’s butterfly season. Every year, thousands of white butterflies fill the air for one week. There are so many of them flying by that it looks like it’s snowing butterflies. The air is filled with them.
In the 1700s Dutch explorers came through and described what they saw when they got off the boat. They said it was a cloud of white butterflies, more than the eye could see.
Three hundred years later, butterfly season still comes.
At our first sight of them my kiddo and I run outside, hold our arms wide and spin in circles. The butterflies fly around us like we’re in a snow globe. Because it’s snowing butterflies.
There are other seasons here that help mark the time. Flame tree season, land crab season, sea glass season. All equally magical.
When I write a story, I always ask myself what season it is in my book. What do the characters see in their world, what nature do they have, bugs, trees, flowers, how do they connect with their environment?
In The Fall in Love Checklist it’s early spring at the beginning of the novel. Here’s an excerpt.
Yellow roses, white lilies, purple hyacinth, butterflies and green grass. I can almost smell the grass—fresh mowed springtime. The sun is shining through the window and little rainbows are glinting on the white marble countertops. I smile at the farmhouse sink. There’s a hand-painted wheelbarrow in a flower garden.
“Mind giving me a hand?”
I startle at the man’s voice. “I’m sorry. I was admiring the view.”
He chuckles and the sound reminds me of warm honey dripping over freshly baked buttery biscuits. My mouth starts to water.
I peek around the kitchen and realize he’s on his hands and knees. His head is buried in a cabinet and his backside is…goodness. My mouth stops watering and goes dry. His backside is gorgeous.
“Admire away,” he says. I choke a bit when I realize what view he must think I’m talking about. “But while you look, do you mind giving me a Phillips head?”
“Pardon me?” I say. What’s a Phillips head?
He cranes his neck around and stares at me from the darkness under the cabinet. Prickles form along my skin. I feel an electric pulse and I’m itchy and uncomfortable. I shift under his hidden gaze. Then I wonder, is Phillips head another term for head? Is he propositioning me? My face heats.
“A Phillips head. There’s a connection here that I need to screw.”
I gasp. “I’m sorry, I came here about the rental. Not…” I clear my throat. Not about screwing.
That’s all for today. I wonder how you all mark the seasons and what sort of nature you like to see in the books you read. Do you have a favorite book that captures a season perfectly?