Ready for My Close Up!

Mary Ruth Manthey captures a dragonfly with a flair for the dramatic.

There’s a fascination with wildlife and insects we sometimes have, and for many there’s a very real fear. Both feelings spring from our inability to communicate with them; how do you tell a squirrel you come in peace, anyway? There’ll always be a division between us and the wild. However, every once in awhile, we hear of incredible encounters that lead us to believe that division isn’t quite as big as we imagined.

Plymouth resident Mary Ruth Manthey was only looking to take a photo from a distance when she brought her camera near a dragonfly she saw on her deck. As Manthey cautiously moved toward the dragonfly, she realized it didn’t seem bothered. She began to talk to it while shooting. “The closer I got and the more I talked to him, the more he’d stay,” she explains. “When I took this photo, I was only a couple of inches away.”

After taking several photos, Manthey’s daughter, Janet, urged her to name the dragonfly, claiming it was only fair after all the time they spent together. “Elliot the dragonfly” was born.

We see this picture, and we’re delighted by how familiar Elliot looks. His eyes are locked with the camera’s lens, he’s sporting a little smile and he does indeed seem to say, “Ready for my close up!” It may be some time before we fully understand these wild creatures, but interactions like this little photo shoot with Elliot help us focus a little less on the fear of division, and a little more on the joy of connection.