Every time I see a toadstool, I immediately look around for its companions—the fairy ring. A little sparkle ignites inside me, and for a moment I sense the magic of a hidden world. I suppose this is due to their ephemeral nature. They show up overnight then vanish in a few days.

I took this picture because my son, who was outside painting fearsome Warhammer orcs and goblins, ran inside to tell me a dragonfly had landed on a mushroom. Come see!

The crystal-lace wings, iridescent thorax and long thin abdomen of dragonflies offer another invitation into a mystical world. They hover tantalizingly close, but when a child tries to catch them, the dragonflies zoom away at the speed of light. Yet if the child sits quietly, the elusive creatures will sometimes land on a hand, head or shoulder. And never, ever, bite.