With its prehistoric appearance, extraordinarily flying abilities, and intriguing name, the dragonfly has forever been a popular symbol in art and culture that has represented everything from courage, happiness, and summer (in Japanese culture) to swiftness and water (in Native American culture). In Europe’s Middle Ages, this dazzling insect was called the “devil’s darning needle” not only because of its long, slender shape but also because it was believed to be a servant of the devil. In Portugal, folks call it the “eye-snatcher” and in Wales, the “adder’s servant.” With its endless associations and meanings, it’s not surprising that many companies have included the word “dragonfly” in their titles or have used the creature as a mascot. In Dragonfly Expeditions’ younger days, we received occasional phone calls asking if we were related to or a part of similarly-named companies in Puerto Rico or South Africa. Although Dragonfly Expeditions does have several sister companies – for example, Green Heron Gifts and Windjammer Sailing Adventures – none of them have the word dragonfly in their title. The confused callers piqued our interest, so we did our homework on these other Dragonfly companies. And since I have been working with Dragonfly Expeditions, I have noticed even more dragonflies flitting about. Click below to unravel the mystery of the other dragonflies! Continue reading
There have been many occasions when people have asked me why our company is called Dragonfly Expeditions. The truth is that it was already named before my business partner Uwe Doeringer and I ever came along. Dragonfly Expeditions’ founder Michael David Cushing named the company two decades ago. There were several reasons why he liked the name. One was that dragonflies are found the world-over in a brilliant multitude of colors and shapes. Another reason was that dragonflies are an “indicator species,” meaning they are generally only found in healthy ecosystems, something we deeply care about. A great recent Miami Herald article about a current abundance of dragonflies speaks about Dragonfly Expeditions’ specific subspecies, displayed in all of our literature and imagery – the Common Green Darner. However, we always prefer to return to the simple short story found on the back of our business cards:
Common Green Darner – Anax Junius
This species of dragonfly is found in and around various water bodies throughout the tropics. It has been lauded for its incredible gift of flight and brilliant blue and green colors. Green Darners are also one of the few travelers found in their species. Darners have been known to travel thousands of miles with the seasons. They can be seen sailing mostly in the early morning or late afternoon while enjoying a meal of whatever insect flies their way. Whether sailing on an ocean breeze or perched on a rock below some island waterfall, the Common Green Darner lives up to its name Anax Junius or ‘lord and master of June.’
Wouldn’t you agree that this describes us well?