Posts in Category: Odonata

Confusing Red Meadowhawks of Autumn

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.

Blue Dasher, with sparkles.

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.

Eastern Amberwing

My only reliable spot for Eastern Amberwings is Roger’s Pond along the Mousam River here in Kennebunk, Maine. I am sure they are elsewhere in the area but I have never found them. This seems to be the season for them in Southern Maine. This week the ones close to shore where I could photograph them were all males…vigorously defending territory from each other and attempting to avoid the larger dragons, Widow and Twelve-spotted Skimmers, on patrol. It is not an easy life when you are among the smallest of dragonflies 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Calico Skimmer on Blazing Star

We have been having one of our southern Maine spells of hot summer weather and I have not, honestly, been inspired to push through the heat to do much photography. It is all I can do to get my exercise bike ride in. 🙂 I was determined to get out yesterday and, as I got my camera ready and got myself on the bike, I was thinking that a dragonfly or a butterfly on Blazing Star would make the trip worth-while, and was perhaps a reasonable expectation out on the Kennebunk Plains these early days of August. The Blazing Star was not as far along as I had though it might be, based on early blooms in late July, but I was still rewarded with my shot…just as I had foreseen it. The Calico Pennants are getting smaller and darker as the season progresses, but still put on a good show, and the Blazing Star is just barely beginning to open, but still…it is undeniably a dragonfly on Blazing Star. 🙂 High, gusty, winds keep the Calico Pennant in constant motion. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Ebony Jewelwings in the sun

When I visited Emmon’s Preserve in Kennebunkport, Maine at the beginning of July there were just three Ebony Jewelwings enjoying the rapids where the Baston River tumbles down over some rock ledges between two pools…and I felt blessed to find them. On the next to the last day of July there dozens, both males and females. (And I still felt blessed to find them.) The males were busy doing their spinning dance over the water and defending territories, and the females, as is their habit, sat on sunny leaves and watched them. There is nothing quite like an Ebony Jewelwing in the sun. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. There is a poem to go with this, already shared on its own right yesterday. 🙂

7/31
The dappled shade is as deep
as ever where the Baston River
(more a brook really) tumbles
peat-brown down rock ledges
between two pools...but the
long dry spell of late July has
shrunk the flow from its loud
spring song to a whisper all
but lost in mossy cover of the
rocks. And still the Ebony
Jewelwings dance over the
tiny rapids, flashing metallic
green and blue beneath jet
black wings as they fly in and
out of the dapple, inches
from the water, spiraling up
to decorate the stream-side
branches where the sun strikes
through. The males circle
each other over the water
in an intricate choreography,
contesting territory, and then
return to perch almost side
by side, a few feet apart, each
safe in his own tiny empire.
But the flash of it, the dance
of it, over the dark diminished
waters of the Baston, here
at the end of a dry July, is
always something to behold.

Martha’s Pennant

Out at Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Barrens Nature Conservancy (what used to be the Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area), we always have an abundance of Calico Pennants, from early in the spring to late in the fall. Other Pennants come and go. Right now we have emerging Halloween Pennants (previously featured here) and on my last visit I found one Martha’s Pennant. The Martha’s Pennant I tend to think of as “that other Pennant.” It is not nearly as colorful as either the Calico or the Halloween. If not for its very Pennant like perch, I would have trouble identifying it…and I do actually, almost every year. It did not help that this one was hanging just at the far edge of the emergent vegetation in the pond, stretching the limits of my 600mm lens. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Eastern Pondhawk

Eastern Pondhawk, Wells, Maine, USA — I suppose one of the reasons I like Eastern Pondhawks is that they perch so nicely for photos. 🙂 But I do like the colors, and the name. Okay, so what is not to like about the Eastern Pondhawk. You get my point? This was taken at small drainage pond on the grounds of a senior citizen housing complex (really upscale semi-attached condos) just behind Route 1 south of Kennebunk and north of Wells. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Halloween Pennant

Halloween Pennant, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Barrens Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA. — This is the subject of yesterday’s Day Poem, in all its transient glory. This dragonfly is newly emerged…you can tell by the extra cellophane like gloss on the wings…and, of course, I saw it come in off the water and land on what had to be it’s first flight. The wings gain strength quickly and it only perched a few times, very briefly, before it was off somewhere inland. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Looking at you! Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing: Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine — This is a surprisingly common pose for an Ebony Jewelwing. They seem to like to light in trees above eye-level and peak down over the edge of a leaf. I have seen them do it on every Jewelwing excursion. I am not sure if they are actually looking at me, since I probably disturbed them in their feeding by the stream, or if the are on the look out for other prey…or maybe, being males, for a likely female. Anyway, it is an interesting pose. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Spangled among the flowers

This is a female Spangled Skimmer dragonfly showing to good advantage among the meadow flowers. 🙂 Sometimes nature photography is as much about the “setting” as it is the creature. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. Taken at the Forever Wild Preserve in Kennebunk, Maine.