Dragonflies in Flight

During the summer, one of my favorite activities is to go kayaking. This is a fairly new addition to our lives. After our son borrowed a friend's kayak, we became interested and found a place to rent some for the day. It was the most amazing feeling to be peacefully gliding down the river, up close to nature, seeing things from a new perspective. Additionally, it was very stress free and relaxing, opposite of when we owned a large boat. We were hooked and bought some of our own.

Now we have boated for years, but usually on a motorized boat. We even owned a canoe, but that was difficult to maneuver. It was heavy to transport around, and sized such that we had to put it on the roof of the truck or in a trailer behind the truck. When we had a cottage on a lake, we used it more often. Our kids were smaller, and all four of us could fit in it.

We canoed around a few lakes and rivers, but were never really comfortable in it. Maybe it was the rivers we chose, or just the tipsiness of the canoe with small children in it, I’m not sure. I remember one river trip where we went for a long time without seeing a soul. The trees became eery. The water was murky. I started to freak out a bit. What if something happened to us out there?

Fast forward to today, the canoe has been sold and we have lovely kayaks instead. Kayaks where we float along, or paddle as we wish. Kayaks that load easily into the back of the truck and go just about anywhere. They are light enough to drag/carry and need little maintenance to keep them working.

When we go kayaking, we try to find new places to go, though we do repeat some trips that are close by. Many of the rivers around our area of the state look similar, but there are always subtle differences. The rivers by our recreational land look very different as that part of the state has beautiful rock formations not touched by the glaciers. No matter where we go, we enjoy it all.

Sitting in a kayak is very different than any other boat because you are so close to the water. Being that close, you get to see animals in the water, around the water and above the water. We have seen fish, turtles and either a muskrat or beaver swim under and around us in the water. Deer come to drink along side the water, and birds of all kinds fly by. Ducks, cranes, and birds I have no idea the name of swim, eat and drink along the way. A few weeks ago, we even had a bald eagle swoop down from a tree. That was a site as they were almost extinct here in Wisconsin and more so because we were in an urban area.

Smaller insects visit as well, though fortunately very few that bother us. One insect that we see often is the dragonfly. On almost every trip, they come and land on the front of the kayak for a ride. While I occasionally find them around our house, or out in the country, I see more on the rivers. Even though I can't quite make out the pattern on their wings because they fly so fast, nor do I see the color of their wings, I took the liberty to make my own fanciful design for this quilt. I see them in my head as beautiful insects and wanted to pay tribute to that.

If you would like to make this quilt, or use the applique template for your own quilting or sewing projects, the pattern can be found in my Etsy shop. The Dragonfly digital sewing-themed birthday and thank you cards are also available there.