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Wandering Glider: The Inexplicable Whims of Fate

August 22nd, 2020 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, how far has it wandered and what curiosities has it seen?

I was on a Saturday hike. Not really in the right frame of mind for butterfly and dragonfly hunting. Rather tired after a hectic week of work and pushing myself to get out for a few hours since the weather was nice. I stayed close to home at a conservation area only twenty minutes away.

I was circling back to the parking lot after realizing I did not have the energy for the full route I usually follow. I decided to take a trail I was not familiar with for a bit of variety, getting half-lost in the process, and was just trying to get back to the main road.

As sometimes happens in life, I found myself in the right place at the right time for the wrong reasons. A large dragonfly glided across the path ahead of me, turned and retraced its path. Gliding. That was the telltale sign.

I managed to track its path to a small tree where it perched and got my binoculars focused on it. My fatigued brain clicked into gear. Wandering Glider. An unexpected reward for the effort on a day when I was uninspired.

There are only two Gliders that occur in this area and both are considered uncommon. In 15+ years of dragonfly sleuthing, this was only the third one I had seen. I managed to slog through waist high grass and over a couple of rotting logs to get close enough to snap the photo at the head of this post.

Gliders are one of a few species of dragonflies that are migratory. They are known to fly out over the ocean during their migratory flights. In addition, they are the only dragonfly known to exist on all continents. Wanderers, indeed.

I wonder now how far this particular specimen has wandered in its short lifespan. What exotic southern climes has it visited? Has it paused to admire pods of whales during its migration? Perhaps looked down in puzzlement at the battlefields of the wars of mankind. How much if any of those memories has it retained?

I wish I could somehow have a conversation with this world traveler. Be regaled by the sights and sounds, wonders and oddities, inspirations and disappointments it has experienced. Doubtless it has found its way to places I will never see and happened upon curiosities I will never encounter.

Alas, it was only the briefest of encounters. I returned to my comparatively mundane life and it continued on its instinctual wanderings. But I will remember it as a moment of convergence – two diverse creatures crossing paths for a few moments in time.

A metaphor for the inexplicable whims of fate and the fair winds on which it glides.

~ Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is also the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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