The Foxglove, the Dragonfly, and the Ant

What a cover photo! Claudia Lorenz, Pender Island photographer, gardener and nature observer has taken a beautiful photo of a Foxglove. Or is it a spectacular photo of a dragonfly? Hold on a second. Maybe it is a photo of an ant trying desperately not to look delicious? Claudia’s photo is all of the above.

Penderites are not all gardeners, in fact until this week I thought a foxglove was something foxes wore to avoid leaving incriminating fingerprints in the henhouse. Although not knowledgeable, I do love flowers and now that I know what a Foxglove is, I can certainly attest to the fact that Claudia has grown and photographed a beauty.

I also know ants, and I admire their strength-to-size ratio and their industrious nature. However, if you see an ant in your house and it is wearing a little tiny tool-belt, it is a carpenter ant and you have a problem. Based on a rather intense meeting with the Pender Post Research Department, I can also confirm that dragon flies have voracious appetites and therefore our cover ant also has a problem. It could be worse, as fossils indicate that pre-historic dragonflies had wingspans up to two feet! That is five to 12 times larger than our current models. Dragonflies or their ancestors have been around for about 300 million years and a species cannot boast about that sort of staying power without knowing where its next meal is coming from.

For all the science and research involved in this cover comment the really important thing is the Foxglove. It is a beautiful flower and Claudia has done a fine job of capturing not only its beauty but also the drama that lives in our gardens if we take the time to be observant. Easy for me to say, but what about the photographic equipment, the lenses, lighting and paraphernalia required for the project? Ms Lorenz could not have been more succinct in her summary, “the photo was made with an iPhone, sans any special accessories…attention and patience is more important than gear.”

Our thanks for the photo and the words of wisdom, and also a tip of our Research Department hat to for the dragonfly facts.

Mike Wiley

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