"Twilights Moon" by Jaime Best, shop linked in image.
I just realized last night that I call fireflies "Lightning Bugs" and always have. I'm proud of that! What do you call them?

I was thinking about it because I asked myself "What is your favorite thing about summer?" This summer has been chaotic, we totaled our car (and we're both totally unscathed!), had a lot of unexpected expenses (like fixing the AC on the car that got totaled only days later), we both got sick, we moved into a new apartment (which we're very thankful for but the process was quite stressful) and we bought a new car (again which we're very thankful for but making such a big purchase can be unnerving, it also falls into the unexpected expenses category)! And all this in just 3 weeks!

In the midst of all this chaos, I haven't really had a chance to enjoy summer, with the exception of the trip to Florida which was glorious. And even now that it's all over I still am really jumpy; when the phone rings my heart races because my first instinct is that it's bad news, and I've been having trouble sleeping, which is rare for me. 

So, to help calm my nerves and force myself to enjoy this beautiful weather and all the things that come with it, I was thinking about what aspect of summer I really wanted to savor. I chose lightning bugs! They're so magical and tranquil and I love how you see them just as twilight begins, the most peaceful time of the day. They also remind me of my childhood, catching them in mason jars on Mammaw's driveway and then barbarically  rupturing their abdomens to smear their glowing guts on my face. Kids are gross! And in the future when I see lightning bugs I'll remember the walks Jared and I have been taking and how we stop to admire them as we hold hands. Yep, lightning bugs definitely help me  relax and enjoy summer. 

The beautiful print above reminds me of Psalm 4:8, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone O Lord make me dwell in safety." Thanks for reading this, writing it was a good exercise for me to remember how blessed I am and how good God is.
That's what this damselfly's name means, I think. This is a male Calopteryx maculata, also known as Ebony Jewelwing. 
Yesterday we were walking in the forest preserve and there were like, a gazillion weird looking dragonflies. Like this big guy.
We'd never seen a dragonfly like this one before, but apparently it is pretty common, because it is called a common whitetail. But I like to call him by his cute scientific name, libellula lydia. 

We also found these petite little dragonflies.
Something unexpected and life changing happened a few days ago. Jared brought home a dead dragonfly he had found at work. My first thought was, "Oh cool, I can put it in a shadow box and hang it up. Too bad it's just plain brown and kind of gross." But after I did put the creature in its frame, I decided I wanted to figure out what kind of dragonfly it is. I found a website, Digital Dragonflies, which blew my mind. Click that link! I bet you never knew dragonflies could be so beautiful! Well it turns out they are all super beautiful and exotic once you take a good look at them.