The Helicopter, Not the Dragonfly


This walk is about the helicopter, not the dragonfly even though the machine can’t match the insect’s flying skills. As Aki crouches as if held in place by blade noise, I try to watch the dragonfly, hoping to see it hover and then land on a single clump of arctic cotton. That would bring together two of my favorite things—the fly’s iridescent wings and cotton washed clean by recent rain. But the dragonfly disappears over the muskeg as the helicopter lifts off with a compact-car-sized satchel of gravel.


I never see the dragonfly again but the helicopter is a near constant presence, ferrying gravel to a section of the Treadwell Ditch trail near Mt. Jumbo. Even though I might ski over the delivered gravel next winter, I left myself wonder how the helicopter would fair if it became trapped by this carnivorous sundew plant after being shrunk to the size of a mosquito.



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