A perfect morning to walk along a grassy path cutting through the meadow —early, but not too early. The hot sun well up in the sky is already heating up the day, but the grass is soaked with dew and the air is still cool. An occasional buzz of a remaining nighttime cicada deepens the silence. I am walking up a gentle hill and am momentarily startled by two pretty teenage girls running up from behind. They are following the cross-country course markers and are preparing for the fall season. Their bodies glisten with a healthy layer of sweat. Silent with concentration and effort, they split and pass quickly on either side of me without a word.
I am trying to photograph the many vivid blue dragonflies and bright yellow swallowtails, but they fly off as I approach within camera range. With the whole meadow stretching over the horizon to choose from, why should they tolerate my presence, however benign? I know they would photograph beautifully if I could get close enough, but it doesn’t matter. I am well aware of how they look. Like the girls that passed me, it is enough just to know they are there.