This post has nothing to do with damselflies. Except that yesterday, as I cut and shaped pieces of dimensional lumber for my latest cottage remodeling project, dozens of iridescent damselflies, such as the ebony jewelwing (above) plus various species of dancers, bluets, forktails, and slenderwings—in a host of breathtaking colors—zipped around, sometimes pausing for a quick rest on the sawhorses, energized by the bright sunlight's summery heat.
Today it feels like another season. Even now, at 2:00 p.m., the day's high is still a ridiculously chilly 62˚F! That's at least 25 degrees below the usual expectations for this time of year in southwest Ohio. Flat too cold for August hereabouts! Nor is there much hope temperatures will rise more than a degree or two between now and nightfall—and tonight it's predicted the low will dip into the mid-50s˚F.
If this wasn't bad enough, it's been raining since before dawn. A steady drizzle that occasionally increases to a near downpour. And of course the sky is low—a dim, dark charcoal gray the shade of dirty wool.
As you might surmise, there are no vividly hued damselflies zipping around!
Moreover, I can't work on my latest carpentry project because, lacking a garage or other dry interior space, I have to wait for better weather before I can set up shop in the yard. So in spite of being all energized for a day's work, I'm instead forced to quashed my plans. A rained-out, froze-out, time-out.
Last night, just before we turned off the TV and headed to bed, Myladylove sat bolt upright, sniffed, then wrinkled her nose.
"Ugghh!" she said, giving me an annoyed glance. "What's that awful smell?"
Myladylove has the olfactory sensitivity of a bloodhound. I'm not exaggerating when I say she's phenomenal at detecting and discerning scents. I've never met another human being with even half her nose prowess.
While my own scenting capabilities didn't approached her level, I used to be above average at sniffing things out. But a couple of months ago, when I first got sick and went on my initial round of medications, my trusty sense of smell mostly vanished. It has yet to return. Currently, I can crush a handful of peppermint leaves, hold them against my nose, and barely catch a whiff of their strong scent. The same goes for mentholated rub, aftershave, woodsmoke…and, apparently, skunk.
"Dunno," I said, with an ineffective shrug. "I can't smell anything."
She shot me another irritated look, sniffed again, then answered her own question: "Skunk!"
At which point she sprang up and hastily closed the screen where the offending musky smell was flooding through—drawn in by the big window-mounted fan on the opposite side of the room that busily pushes air out. Her actions were accompanied by overly-dramatic sounds of gagging, retching, and imminent asphyxiation.
I had more sense than to rise to that particular ploy. No use getting blamed for the behavior of a stinky skunk. It's against my nature, but I've learned when to remain silent. A savvy survival instinct.
But I should have paid better attention to the omen-bearing skunk, even if I couldn't smell it. I do believe the critter was delivering a malodorous prophecy…for today has been a real stinker!