Tuesday 30 June 2020

Western Tanager

    I was thrilled the other day to see a Western Tanager.  I was wheeling a cartful of split firewood over to stack beside the fence, when I looked up and noticed a yellow leaf half hidden behind the otherwise green leaves of a birch tree.  The thought struck me that that yellow leaf was about the same color as a Tanager, but the thought didn’t go any further.  Then as I got closer to the tree, the “leaf” flew off, but landed on a stump of my now dead cherry tree.  It was a Tanager.
    Male Western Tanagers are beautiful colorful birds.  I always enjoyed getting a sight of one, but hadn’t seen any around our house for years.  A week ago, I spotted one as I walked by the garden, but it immediately flew off.  Luckily, this time it stuck around long enough for me to go to the house, get my camera, and take some pictures.
    Tanagers live in Western North America and over winter in Mexico and Costa Rica.   In the early 1800‘s when Lewis and Clark made their expedition to the Pacific, Lewis saw a Tanager and made note of it in his diary.

You can see my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Monday 29 June 2020

Fraser River; Thou Banks Runneth Over

    Here are a couple of photos that I took from the Halfway Lookout on McBride Peak on Saturday.

You can view my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Sunday 28 June 2020

Horseshoe Lake Flooding

    Above is a photo of Horseshoe Lake Road, the road we usually walk down.   It will be a while before we walk down it again because the Fraser River has flooded, submerging the whole around the lake with water.
    I took the photo below from the halfway lookout on McBride peak.  You can see Horseshoe Lake (the bluer water).  Normally it has a distinct horseshoe shape, but now water fills the area between its arms, and the area between it and the Fraser River.

You can see my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Saturday 27 June 2020

Cows in the Pasture

    I was attracted to these spotted cows feasting on new grass in a pasture the other evening.  I liked the  distinct black and white coloration of the cows against the soft greens and blues of their surroundings.  We’ve had a lot of rain and so the pastures are rich with grass.

You can view my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Friday 26 June 2020

New Sink, No Water

    Last week I spent days putting in a new sink in the kitchen and this week we have had days with no water.  Well, more accurately, we have some water in the blue container you see in the photo.  We got some from friends, but we don’t have any coming through our waterline because of the powerful torrent of water presently pouring down Sunbeam Falls that is preventing us from correcting whatever problem is causing our stoppage.  It is either that our intake filter is clogged or the culvert has filled with gravel preventing water from getting to our intake.  
    In the past we have suffered through similar household “droughts,” so we know how to adapt.  The blue container is permanently stored in our shop for such emergencies.   One of the major headaches we have when our water goes down is the inability to flush the toilet, but fortunately we have an outhouse.

    We are not the only ones with water problems.  The entire Village of McBride has been told not to drink their water.  It always seems a bit strange to have no water when all of the creeks and rivers are overflowing with excess water.  The old saying, “Water, water, everywhere; and not a drop to drink” comes to mind.

You can view my paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Thursday 25 June 2020

Fraser River Flooding

    I woke up to hear the Robson Valley mentioned during the provincial news on the radio.  They announced that 70 households along the Dore River had been put on “Evacuation Alert” due to flooding.  Shortly thereafter I got a call from Glen, a neighbor who is on our waterline.  He said that our water had stopped, so we hiked up to Sunbeam Falls to see what we could do.  The water was tumbling down the falls with such force that it was too dangerous for us to do much of anything.  
    We were able to clear some of the rocks off of the grid on the top of our culvert and to raise the water gate to try to flush out the culvert, but that was all.  That did give us a bit of a trickle of water at home, but it is pretty murky looking.  We will have to wait until the flow diminishes before we can really do anything.
    This afternoon we went to do our walk at Horseshoe Lake Road, but the road is closed due to the rising water.  Water was flowing over the road and the picnic area was flooded.

You can view my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Roadside Attractions

    Here are some of the flowering plants growing along the edge of the road that I saw yesterday on our afternoon walk:  a wild rose, some kind of willow shrub, and a clump of daisies that were blowing in the wind.

Check out my paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Fraser River Rising

    Above is a photo of our “marker” tree that grows beside the road.  During the late summer when the river is low, it sits about 90 yards (80m) across a beach to the water, but during the spring when all of the snow on the mountains start to melt the water level rises quite a bit.  Whenever the water level gets up to the base of the tree, we start paying attention to it.  The water will have to go up another 4 feet (1.2 meters) before it gets to the road.
    You can also see the high water at Koeneman Park on the trail beside the highway bridge (photo below).  Water is also starting to encroach onto some of the low lying fields.   I always that the flooding increases the likelihood of a mosquito population explosion, and they are already an irritant. 
    The rise in the water seems a couple of weeks late this year. 

You can see my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Monday 22 June 2020

River Rocks, My Latest Painting

    I completed the painting I am calling “River Rocks” yesterday.  I used acrylics on a 24 X 30 inch canvas.  It took me 140 hours to paint.  I was attracted to the image because of the green water and the raw and primary elements of the Earth:  rock and water.  I thought it might be challenging to try and re-create the water.
    It is based on a photo which I took at Rearguard Falls in Mt. Robson Provincial Park.

You can see my other paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Sunday 21 June 2020

Bombus centralis on Lilac

    Lilac bushes are great attractors of hummingbirds and a wide variety of insects.  I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I saw a hummingbird moth sucking up lilac nectar (photo below).  It was smaller than a hummingbird, but sure acted like one, and I wasn’t sure what it was.  Another insect that always catches my eye is the Bombus centralis, a bumblebee with orange stripes instead of the yellow stripes I was used to seeing.  
    Like many of our other trees, the lilacs in our yard took a hard hit over the winter, but they were able to put out enough blossoms to make the pollinators happy.

Take a look at my photo-realistic paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Saturday 20 June 2020

Rocky Mountain Incense

    During our first June living in our house, we discovered that we lived in a very mosquito-prone area.  We began buying mosquito coils that we would burn in our bedroom at night,.  This enabled us to sleep without being disturbed by the buzzing of the persistent pests.  Mosquito coils, which were locally nicknamed “Rocky Mountain Incense” are a probably toxic conglomeration of material, that when lit slowly smoked up the room, driving the mosquitoes away.  I often wondered if the foul smelling smoke intoxicated us into a deep slumber making us oblivious to the mosquitoes.
    After those early years, and afraid for our health, we stopped using mosquito coils, but the other day in the hardware store, while looking for anti-mosquito products, I saw what appeared to be some “high-end” mosquito coils packaged in a fancy metal container, and I bought some.
    One of the problems at home is that mosquitoes tend to hang out in our front porch and carport, the two places where we enter our house.  Whenever we open a door, the mosquitoes swarm inside, then they dedicate their lives to making us miserable, especially when we are trying to sleep.  We have had several occasions when our cat who has been outside and can open the door to let herself in, comes in without our knowing, leaving the door open, until our house is full of mosquitoes. 
    We have begun burning our newly purchased mosquito coils out in the carport which keep the mosquitoes away from our door, this keeps the “mozzies” out of our house.  They burn for about 8 hours, and these fancy ones do smell like incense, so I think we will continue to buying and burning “Rocky Mountain Incense” during mosquito season.
    I feel a lot better about burning the coils outside, so we don’t end up breathing that smoke inside our house.

You can see my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Friday 19 June 2020

Firewood Security

    Winter is such a dominant season in Canada, that year round I am thinking and planning for it.  One of the main things I have to plan for is getting enough firewood to heat the house through those cold winter nights.  In the spring I strive to cut and split firewood so that it will be dry and ready to burn during the winter.
    A few weeks ago I felled 6 birch trees for firewood and managed to cut, split and stack the pieces of one of them.  I planned to cut up the others this week, but then got unexpectedly sidetracked by the whole business of replacing the kitchen sink.
    I noticed in “Pete’s Daily Email” (a local information source) that an acquaintance was selling birch firewood.  It was part of a logging block done by the Dunster Community Forest that now own the birch flooring company in McBride.  Even though I would probably have enough firewood by cutting up the trees I felled, I figured that one can never have enough firewood, so I ordered a load of birch.
    It arrived yesterday, and as you can see it is a “lot of wood”.  I will put off cutting up my felled trees for now, and concentrate on splitting all of the wood that was delivered.
    I’m not sure where I am going to stack all of this firewood, but I’ll figure something out.  In my forty-something years of living here, I have never before been so “Firewood” rich.

You can view my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Thursday 18 June 2020

White-Tail Deer in the Neighborhood

    I was surprised this morning to see a White-tailed deer in the yard.  Just yesterday a neighbor told me that he had seen some at his place.  While White-tails are common in a lot of the Robson Valley, in our neck of the woods we don’t see them, we see Mule Deer.
    White-tails are a lighter tan color, they seem more delicate, and as you might expect, have a long tail that is white on the underside.  The white tail is like a flag waving behind them as they bound away.  Mule deer (photo below) are more bulky, a darker color, and look stronger.
    I don’t know why the White-tails have suddenly made an appearance.

You can view my photo-realistic paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Waterlilies are Blooming

    The waterlilies in my pond are blooming.  While they are not as exquisite or as colorful as some of the domesticated waterlilies, I look forward to seeing them bloom every year.  Down, under the water in the muck they grow from a long tuber that looks like the arm of an octopus.  Years ago when I first built the pond, I saw some of the tubers floating on Horseshoe Lake and brought them home and stuck them in the mud of my pond.  
    In 2007 I did a painting of waterlily which can be seen at: 


Tuesday 16 June 2020

Plumbing, My Least Favorite Household Chore

    There is a saying,  “When one door closes, another door opens.”   I have discovered that the opposite is also true, “When a door opens, another door closes.”   That is what happened to us.   After our unfortunate episode of buying an expensive range and discovering it was a lemon, we were very hesitant about buying another new one, so we kept on using our old one, despite its constant turning itself off because of a “Fan Error”.   
    We eventually got fed up enough with it.  We crossed our fingers and ordered a new stove.  Then, as we waited for it to arrive, we antagonized over whether it would work properly, after feeling so stung with our last “new” stove.
    I am happy to report that our new one (a GE) arrived and has been working wonderfully.  We have both been impressed with how quiet it is (the fans in Induction stoves can be loud) and unlike our previous “new” stove, the oven goes to the correct temperature.  Anyway we were both happy and relieved with this one.
    About 15 minutes after our relief (the door that opened), we discovered that the drain under our sink was leaking (the other door that closed).  The leak was due to a totally corroded drain piece in our sink.  Immediately, I was filled with dread:  it meant I would have to do plumbing.
    We had bought a new sink and faucet years ago, which was in storage in my shop.  This seemed like the right time to get it out and install it.  Because the new sink was a little bit bigger than the old one, I had to enlarge the hole in the kitchen counter so it would fit.  This task was much more complicated than it might seem.  It required using a router, a skill saw, a Dremel, and a hammer and some chisels.  That is saw dust you can see under our new sink, which fortunately I was able to make fit.  I was amazed at how many times I had to walk up to the shop to get a different tool.
    But fitting the sink was not the end of the job.  All the drain plumbing for the old sink, was a bit out of line with what was needed for the new one, and I had to rejig it to make it fit.  This caused some small leaks which I am still in the process of discovering and sealing, one by one.   Not only that, because the new sink is just a bit bigger, the fancy hinges on the kitchen cabinet doors below the sink, now won’t close all the way, so I will have to move the top hinge on both doors to a lower position.
    These are fancy Ikea sliding hinges, and will require me to router out a 1 1/2 circular hole in the back of each cabinet door to hold the hinge in place.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can make the hole without breaking through the wood into the front of the cabinet door.
    I am always fascinated at home repairs and how doing one thing always involves about ten other tasks.  Wish me luck.

You can view my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Sunday 14 June 2020

Rain To Make the Jungle Grow

    I have been thinking that it was starting to get a bit dry and that we could use some rain.  Well, the rain came, and now I am begging for a truce.  Because we have a rather short growing season, once things start to grow, they explode and once the explode I have to scramble around like a mad-man trying to stay on top of things.  All this rain will amplify the growth explosion.
    A couple of days ago I noticed how tall the grass in the paddock was getting, and thought I should make time to cut cut for mulch in the garden.  I didn’t, and now the heavy rainfall has knocked huge swaths of it down, which will make it more difficult to cut.  The garden which was pretty much under control will now erupt in weeds and I suspect I will soon lose control over the weeds.
    The photo above show the hostas in our jungle-like foliage garden.  Below from the same garden, is a Giant Allium bloom.

My photo-realistic pantings can be seen at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Saturday 13 June 2020

Zooming In

    A friend asked me what kind of camera I used and I told him I used a Sony Camcorder (FDR-AX53) as a camera.  One of the reasons, I explained,  was the amazing range of focus that it allowed.  I can focus in on something an inch away, like a flower bloom, or zoom in on something really far away.
    The photo above is admittedly not great, but considering how far away I was (300 yards or 280 meters) it’s not bad.  I took the shot while visiting friends.  From their porch they have a far and narrow view of the Fraser River down below their house.  I noticed a white spot on top of something dark, and wondered if it might be an eagle, but from that distance, I really couldn’t be sure.  I grabbed my camcorder and zoomed in as much as I could at saw that it definitely was a bald eagle and took the photo.

View my photo-realistic paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Friday 12 June 2020

Striving For Life

    On my May 23rd blog I lamented over my plum and cherry trees that had been killed over the winter.  I have heard that cherry trees throughout the Valley have suffered the same fate.  The photo above shows how the tree looked this morning;  bare and naked, against the backdrop of green leaves on the other trees.  I was depressed to see the demise of a tree that had provided so many cherry pies to us in the past 35 years.
    Today I am happy to report that this old cherry tree, that has withstood so many cold winters and the mangling and trashing by bears, still has a spark of life in it and is fighting to stay alive.  There are now two places on the tree that have developed some leaves.  One is part of a branch on the very top, the other is a sprout from a main trunk (below).
    I don’t know if these to two spots are enough to pull the tree through, but at least it is a sign that the tree is alive and fighting for life.

Check out my photo-realistic paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Thursday 11 June 2020

Firewood: The Many Warmings

    I once read a quote attributed to Henry David Thoreau, it went something like this:  “Firewood warms you twice, once when you split it and again when you burn it.” 
    My firewood warms me more than two times.  First when I fall and buck up the tree.  This doesn’t really work up too much of a sweat, because the chainsaw does the work and I just have to hold it in place.          
    The next warming is more intense:  The firewood I have been getting this year is up a steep slope across the road, so I have to pick up each piece (Birch is really heavy) and throw it down slope.  They bounce and ricochet off of rocks and other trees and all end up in different places.   After I have thrown all the pieces halfway down slope, I go down, pick each one of them up and throw them again, this time most of them land in the deep ditch beside the road.  
    I get the third warming by picking up the pieces from the ditch, lugging them up the steep ditch slope beside the road, trying not to slip, and put them in the back of the truck.  Once I have them all loaded (making numerous pauses to rest), I drive the truck down my driveway and stop beside the shop.  (This is the easiest part of the job)
    Then I have to unload the heavy pieces (I’m sure some of them weigh 80 pounds or 35 kg), stacking them beside the shop door.  That done, I have to start splitting the bucked up pieces.  You have to split the firewood into smaller strips so that it dries out enough to burn easily.  Luckily I have an electric splitter which will split most of the birch.  Some of the thick heavy pieces that had limbs are too much for the splitter, which quits and gives up.  Those I have to split by hand using a wedge and sledge hammer. 
    Once I have the firewood split, I have to load it again, this time into a wheelbarrow and wheel it over to where it will be stacked until it is time to burn it in the winter.
    It would be a lot easier just to turn up a thermostat on the wall and have the heat come on, but when I am not actually collecting, carrying, splitting, and stacking the firewood, I realize it gives me a lot of exercise, which is a good thing, and there is nothing quite as warming as standing by a blazing wood stove in the winter.

You can view my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Spaced-Out Jam Reunion

    One of the things I have missed most during this Covid-19 pandemic is not being able to meet and play music with our Tuesday Night Jam.  It has been three long months of musical drought.  I have been trying to play a song or two every day on my own, but that is not as much fun as playing with a group of other people.
    Since things have begun to open up a bit, I thought I might try to get the group together again; outside and while maintaining social distance.  The problem was finding a place outside with electricity.  I made an inquiry with the Village about using the pavilion in the park, but that didn’t work out.  Fortunately, someone heard of our plight and came to our rescue with some suggestions, one of which worked out.  We were able to make arrangements about using the porch on McBride’s Train Station.  It had power and a roof over our head in case of bad weather.
    Since yesterday was our regular jam night, I scrambled to get the word out to our musicians, but with only 6 hours notice, we only had five who were able to show up, but we had fun nevertheless.   The playing conditions were not great for our reunion performance.
    There was a chilly blustery wind blowing, which made the 14C (57F) temperature feel rather cool.  I ended up putting my hat on and others wore their jackets.  Luckily Norma had brought some clothes pegs, so we were able to clamp the pages of our song book to avoid the wind from turning the page mid-song.
    It was noticeable that the weather did have an influence on our song choices.  We played “Behind the Clouds (the Sun is shining), “Storms Never Last”, and “You Are My Sunshine”, all trying to invoke a change in Mother Nature about the weather conditions.
    We played from 6:00 to 8:00 since we outside.  By the time we finished I think everyone was a bit chilled and it felt good to get into a warm car to drive home, but I was sure happy we were able to start up playing again.
    We will do it again next week at the same time, hopefully with more benign weather conditions.

You can view my photo-realistic paintings at:   davidmarchant2.ca

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Marshmallow-Looking Conks

    The fungus that grows on trees are referred to as “Conks”, at least that is what we referred to them as when I was timber cruising.  I noticed these unusual looking conks growing on a dead tree the other day.  They look soft and rounded like partially melted marshmallows.  
    Unlike green plants, fungi doesn’t need sunlight to grow, instead it uses organic matter.  So if you see mushrooms or conks growing somewhere, you know there must be some previously growing thing that is providing nutrients to it. 
    The fungi that you see is not the whole organism, it is just the fruiting body, most of it (which usually look like thin roots) are growing unseen under the ground or inside the tree.  If you see a conk on a tree, you know that that tree is in trouble and is rotting inside.

You can view my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Monday 8 June 2020

Siberian Iris

    I was happy the other day to discover that my Siberian Iris were blooming again.  A friend had given me the plant decades ago and I had planted it in a moist area by the pond.  Over the years, as a nearby young spruce tree grew, there was less and less sunlight available to the iris.  While the plant stayed alive, it stopped blooming.
    A few years ago, in an attempt to get it to bloom again, I dug it up and moved it to an area beside the pond that received more sunlight.  Last year I had hopes that it would show it’s appreciation for it’s new location by blooming, but it didn’t. 
    I guess it took longer than I expected for it to get readjusted to its new home, but this year the blooms have appeared.
    Siberian Iris are taller and more slender than other iris I have seen.  I really love it’s yellow, tiger-striped portion of the pedal.

Check out my photo-realistic paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Sunday 7 June 2020

Weeding the Garlic

    We can’t grow garlic in our garden, because many years ago we inadvertently, imported a disease called “white rot” into our soil by planting some garlic we had bought on Vancouver Island.  Since then all the garlic and onions we plant in the garden, rots.  We use a lot of garlic in our cooking and luckily our friends the Milnes have allowed us to plant garlic in their garden. 
    A week or so ago, we took a look at our crop, and I saw that it needed weeding, then I promptly forgot about it.  Last year I forgot about it until later in the year and the weeds had gotten way too big.  Yesterday afternoon I did finally remember about it, so we drove over to Milnes and I spent an hour weeding our garlic.  The photo shows the bed after I had weeded a quarter of it.  
    As a child my sister and I often had to spend time in the hot humid afternoon sun weeding the garden.  It was something I hated, and secretly vowed never to have a garden.  The vow of course was broken, but now I don’t mind weeding, it is a mindless job, and needs to be done.  As it turned out yesterday wasn’t the best day to do the weeding.  The mosquitoes were horrible which drove me crazy, but I got the job done, which allows me to check it off the “To Do” list until later in the summer.

You can see my photo-realistic paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Saturday 6 June 2020

Horsing Around in the Water

    It’s always a treat to watch animals playing in the water.  The other day on our walk down Horseshoe Lake Road, we enjoyed seeing the horses splashing, pawing, and laying around in a big pool of water in their pasture.  

View my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca

Friday 5 June 2020

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

      This is a nonfiction book written by Douglas Preston, who is a National Geographic writer.  It is about an expedition he was on into a remote and unexplored jungled area in the Mosquitia Region of Honduras. The expedition was mounted to check out centuries-old rumors of a wealthy undiscovered “White City” sometimes called the “Lost City of the Monkey God”.   The expedition happened in 2015. 
             In the past several explorers had claimed to have found the “Lost City”, but none could show any proof or map of it’s location.  This expedition was to be the first scientific based search of the area the lost city was thought to be in. After much negotiation with the US and a Honduran governments the team was allowed to use Lidar, a sophisticated and expensive radar system that, when flown over a dense jungle, could create a detailed image of the land beneath the tree canopy.
              This amazing technology which shows each individual tree in the jungle, uses the tiny gaps between the leaves to map the ground. The Lidar image that resulted from the survey did indicate what appeared to be ground images that were man-made in the jungle. 
       The expedition itself turned out to be a horrific experience for the archeologists, explorers, writers, photographers, anthropologists, and others that made up the team. The area they were helicoptered into was an extremely dense rainforest, filled with parasites, deadly snakes, and dangerous insect pests.  It was pouring rain during most of their time at the site. 
      The team did find a lot of evidence and artifacts of an ancient city, but due to their short stay, they were not able to do much actual archeological digs.  Mostly they were able to confirm the existence of a previously unknown pre-Columbian civilization with possible relationship to the Mayan. 
       The drama of the expedition did not end with the team’s return to their home countries.   Many of them brought with them a souvenir which erupted on their skin weeks later.  It was the result of a tropical parasite transmitted to them through the bites of sand fleas.  After much investigations by tropical disease specialists, they learned they had contracted leishmaniasis sometimes called “white leprosy”.  It can cause death by eating away your face. 
       For some, the reaction to only known cure (a powerful and not always benign antibiotic), can destroy the kidneys or cause other lifelong problems.  Fortunately for the author, he had reasonably mild reactions to the cure, but other members of the exploration team were not so lucky. 
       I found the last chapter of the book extremely relevant, because it spoke of pandemics caused by agents from tropical areas that could spread worldwide and cause not only death, but to quote the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, could “devastate the world financially, precipitating a three trillion dollar economic collapses.  This is not fear scaremongering:  Most epidemiologist believe this will happen.” 
    This book published in 2017 also mentioned the now famous Dr. Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Infectious Disease, all very topical to today’s pandemic.

Check out my photo-realistic paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Thursday 4 June 2020

More Pond Walk Photos

    Here are two more photo that I took the other day when I walked around the pond.  Above you see a Lupine bloom before it begins to really color or stretch out.  It is about 5 inches (12cm) long in the photo, but as it matures it will stretch out to about 12 inches (30cm).  Lupines are one of my favorite flowers.  They have spread in abundance around my pond.
    Below is another photo of Ladyslippers.  At this point the “slipper” part of the bloom is still rather small and hidden so most of what you notice are the sinister-looking and purplish sepals of the flower.  The Mountain Ladyslipper can often be seen growing in the moist roadside ditches of the Robson Valley.

Take a look at my paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

Tuesday 2 June 2020

"Snake Doctor

     Here is a photo of the first dragonfly I have seen this season.  I have never had much luck trying to take a picture of dragonflies, they usually take off if I get close, but this one was nice enough to stay where it was.
    When I see a dragonfly I often think of a childhood belief that I had for a while.  When I was very small we saw a dragonfly and one of the neighbor kids called it a “Snake Doctor’  and said that they healed wounded snakes.  While that is totally ridiculous, at that stage of my childhood, I accepted anything an older kid said, as truth.  I had never heard the term “Snake Doctor” since.
    I often wondered where such an idea like that came from and how it originated.   I doubted the neighbor kid had thought it up himself.   Was it just a local Southern Indiana thing, or did it have some other history? 
     Upon writing this blog it suddenly occurred to me that everything can now be investigated on the internet, so I did a quick search and found out that the term “Snake Doctor” is often given to dragonflies in the Southern US, where it was believed that dragonflies followed snakes around and stitched them up if they were hurt.   There, a lifelong puzzle has now been explained.

You can view my paintings at:  davidmarchant2.ca