For Christmas my older brother gave me a field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of Oregon. This book by Cary Kerst and Steve Gordon is beautiful, full of great photos and details about each species. At the heart of the field guide is a statewide survey of Oregon and years of research on the life cycles of dragonflies. Some cycles are five years long, most of it spent underwater until they are resurrected into the air where they whirr about like jet powered jewels.
Such science and close observation is worship—devotion to the beautiful detail of God’s creation. And in the names of the dragonflies and damselflies there is poetry and music: Lance-tipped Darner, Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, Commanche Skimmer, Black Saddlebags, Zig-zag Darner, Lyre-tipped Spreadwing, Vivid Dancer, Sinuous Snaketail, Beaverpond Baskettail, Blue Dasher, Flame Skimmer, Aztec Dancer, and Sedge Sprite.