Spangled Skimmer: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Maine, USA — The Spangled Skimmer is one of my favorite dragonflies to see in flight. The white stigma near the wing-tips reflect the sun and draw intricate spirograph patterns around the moving dragon. (Do they still make spirographs? I had hours of fun with mine as a child.) And, like most skimmers, they perch nicely for photos. This one landed closer than the 1440mm zoom on the Nikon B700 will focus so I had to back to to about 1000mm for this shot. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Calico Pennant: Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I find that I have to remind myself that, after the first dozen or so, I do not have to photograph every Calico Pennant I see…not even every male or every female Calico Pennant. There is such a thing as enough all ready with the Calico Pennants. Out at Day Brook Pond, a particularly health little “improved” beaver pone on the Kennebunk Plains, they are certainly abundant every year at this time, and will be present in smaller numbers all summer and into early fall…though I think they might be at their biggest and most robust right now. It seems to me that the later in the season, the smaller and less intense the Calico Pennants, but that may be a trick of my imagination. What we have here are one female and two male Calicos. One male is in classic Pennant pose, and the other is sun posting (obelisking) on what was our second day over 90 degrees in June so far. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Four-spotted Skimmer: Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — As I said yesterday, it was definitely a skimmer day, with Painted, Twelve-spotted, and Four-spotted all in flight over the little pools in the marsh along the lower Mousam River here in Kennebunk. This is two shots of the same 4-spot. Nikon B700 at 2880 (2x enhanced digital zoom) and 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Painted Skimmer: Kennebunk Bridle Path, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It was a skimmer kind of day, or perhaps just skimmer season, at the little brackish pools in the marsh along the lower Mousam River here in Kennebunk yesterday. I had Twelve-spotted, Four-spotted, and Painted Skimmers from the same spot along the Bridle Path. The nice thing about skimmers, from a photographer’s point of view, is that they occasionally perch long enough for a shot…the hard thing about skimmers is that they generally perch on the top of a tall thin stalk waving in the wind. These shots are at 1440mm equivalent with the Nikon B700. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Lancet Clubtail Dragonfly: Forever Wild for All Sanctuary, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I made an off-hand remark in one of my posts recently that the Nikon P700 (which I recently found “used like new” on Ebay) might become my go-to camera for Dragonflies. When asked, by one of my readers, “why?” I told him that it was the extra reach of the 1440mm lens from 7 feet…being able to fill the frame with a dragonfly at that distance makes dragonfly photography much easier…but I had forgotten the main reason I like a small-sensor superzoom bridge camera for insects: depth of field! The small sensor means that at the equivalent field of view of a 1440mm lens, you have the depth of field of a 258mm lens. That is pretty close to the same depth of field you get with the Sony Rx series at 600mm equivalent…and way more depth of field than you would get with a larger sensor camera at anything like that magnification. That means that I can get frame filling shots of dragonflies with almost the whole bug in focus…even head on shots like this one. That is a huge advantage if you are attempting to identify dragons from photos, or to take photos which show identification features. Anyway…this is, as above, a Lancet Clubtail (all my dragonfly ids are “subject to correction by anyone who knows better”, always 🙂 Still, I am pretty confident of this one. The Lancet is one of the earliest flying clubtails, and, in fact, probably the most abundant clubtail we have here in southern Maine, so in early June I am pretty safe with that id. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode. Vivid Picture Control and Low Active-D Lighting. -.3EV. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Boreal or Northern ?? Bluets: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Maine, USA — There were a lot of Bluets at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area this week. I can’t say that I examined every one, but they all seemed to be Boreal/Northern by the largish eyespots and general pattern of the abdomen. I am not honestly sure how to distinguish Boreal and Northern from any distance and I am open to correction even there. 🙂 Many were already paired up adn ready to drop eggs. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. It is nice to have a camera in hand again with that kind of reach again so I am not always cropping the center out of my Sony Rx10iv 600mm shots. 🙂 Program mode with auto everything. -.3EV Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Chalk-fronted Corporal: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — The Chalk-fronted Corporal is among the first dragonflies to take wing in any number in Southern Maine. Day Brook Pond had its share yesterday already. Nikon B700 at 1100-1440mm equivalent. Program mode. -.3EV. The white pruinosity (the chalk-like coating on the throax) really sets off the hydraulics at the base of the wing. All those tiny pumps allow the dragonfly to move and shape each wing, and each segment of wing, independently…giving them an amazing agility in flight.
Black-tipped Darner, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I was out photographing the foliage at a pond along Rt. 9 in Kennebunk on a misty, cloudy day when this darner flew up from the shoreline and, after hovering a while in front of the branch, landed in plain sight. Of course, I had the wrong camera with me, so I could only hope it would sill be there when I got back from getting the right camera from my ebike in the parking area. It was was 🙂 And I am pretty sure it is a Black-tipped, though Shadow is another possibility, (and given the variation in thorax and abdomen patterns, even some of the other darners are more remotely possible). I am not an expert by any means. But, I think, Black-tipped Darner. Whatever it is, it is missing the feathery cerci at the tip of its abdomen. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
It is the season for small red Meadowhawks, or maybe it is just that the Autumn Meadowhawks are so abundant right now that they draw attention to the other, closely related, species. Meadowhawk identification is not for the faint hearted, but I will take a stab at it. I think I have here, top to bottom, Autumn, with its yellowish legs, White-faced, and Ruby. They were all taken at the same small pond that drains the parking lot at the Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk, Maine. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Sometimes it is the “other” stuff in a photo that makes it’s appeal. In this case a portrait of a Blue Dasher dragonfly on a reed at the pond at Southern Maine Medical Center here in Kennebunk is transformed by the sparkles on the water, and what the lens does to them. The circles are actually refraction patterns formed when the light, reflecting off the water behind the dragonfly, passes through the diaphragm of the lens (the little hole that controls how much light gets to the sensor). The pattern they make lifts this dragonfly portrait out of the ordinary. Or that is what I think anyway. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.