Spotted Spreadwing: SMHC drainage ponds, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Though we seemed to get off to a slow start, it has turned out to be a pretty good summer for Odonata. The little drainage pond at the end of the Southern Maine Health Care parking lot is always productive. There were quite a few Spotted Spreadwings in mating wheels around the pond and I managed to get shots of a few. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with some birds and wildlife tweaks. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f6.5 @ 1/125th. -.3 EV.
Widow Skimmer: SMMC drainage pond, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Sometimes it is as much about the setting as it is the dragonfly. This Widow Skimmer was guarding its perch from a Slaty Skimmer, which wanted to take it over. The sparkles off the water behind make for a striking photo. I think. Nikon B700. Program at 1440mm equivalent and ISO 100 @ f6.5 @ 1/320th with -.3 EV exposure compensation. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Flame Skimmer: Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — The morning of my daughter’s wedding celebration in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Carol and I went out to explore the local cienega (marsh or wetland in Spanish) just south of town. It is one of the very few natural ponds and wetlands in the high desert of northern New Mexico, and is owned and managed by the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. Three short trails and some boardwalks provide access to birds, flowers, and dragonflies in season. We saw very few birds, probably because we were not there at dawn, but there were a good number of dragonflies and damselflies, and lots of interesting (though mostly invasive) flowers. This is the Flame Skimmer…a largish dragonfly, and certainly a highlight of any trip to the Southwest. There were two active around the little observation platform built out over the pond. It took me the better part of a half hour to catch one sitting close enough for a good photograph. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent from about 6 feet. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640.
Carolina Saddlebags: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I stopped by the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Health Care on my way to the grocery store on my recumbent eTrike, just to see what was happening. I have not seen so many odonata of so many different kinds in one spot in a long time, if ever. Many Twelve-spotted and Widow Skimmers, large numbers of Blue Dashers, at least 2 mating wheels of Green Darner, an Eastern Amberwing, Amberwing and Spotted Spreadwing, many Eastern Pondhawks, a Unicorn Clubtail, and thousands of Azure Bluets. And I am probably forgetting some. But best of all there were Saddlebags. At least two Black Saddlebags which, in line with all my pervious experience, would not perch, and at least 2 “red” saddlebags, one of which was guarding a perch right at eye-level on a tall reed. I took a lot of photos, but the angle was not great for an identification, and I never did catch it from the back…still, I am petty confident it is a Carolina Saddlbags…especially since according to the Maine Damselfly and Dragonfly Survey, we do not get Red Saddlebags in Maine 🙂 Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Azure Bluets: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another pair of odos from the Southern Maine Health Care drainage ponds. Azure Bluets in a mating wheel. There were thousands of Azure Bluets around the ponds. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Amberwinged Spreadwing: Southern Maine Medical Center drainage ponds, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have been watching for the Spreadwings to emerge. It seems late, but maybe that is just anticipation talking. Yesterday’s Spreadwing (Swamp) was from Massachusetts…today’s is from closer to home, here in Kennebunk. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Swamp Spreadwing: Sturbridge, MA, USA — We had the morning free before the wedding yesterday so we found a place for a hike. Trek Sturbridge maintains an extensive trail network, and the parking for the Leadmine Mountain sector was near our hotel. Around the pond on the Arbutus Park Trail, we found a few dragon and damsel flies. This Swamp Spreadwing was displaying nicely. Sony Rx10iv at 1200mm (2x Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 125 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Green Darner: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Two more shots of the Green Darner pair that I found at the Southern Maine Health Care drainage ponds here in Kennebunk. They were very busy ovipositing on a floating reed, and I was able to extend the zoom on my Nikon B700 to the full reach of its enhanced digital zoom at 2880mm equivalent, for these telephoto macro shots of the two heads. Shutter preferred program mode at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Green Darner: Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I go years between photos of a Green Darner…they just about never perch while I am around…but this is my second one for this year. I found a male settled out on the shore at the Sanford Lagoons last month, and this mating and ovipositing pair at the Southern Maine Medical Center drainage ponds this past weekend. There was a little window through the foreground reeds that opened and closed with the breeze. Nikon B700 at 917mm equivalent (they were close enough to overfill the frame at full zoom). Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
White- or Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine, USA — Meadowhawk season is coming on here in Southern Maine. This is what might best be called a “light-faced meadowhawk”…in Maine it is most likely a White-faced or a Cherry-faced, but it could also be a Ruby Meadowhawk. Authorities say only microscopic examination of the reproductive parts can reliably distinguish these species…and there is some debate as to whether they are indeed separate species. DNA work is inconclusive at best…with the variations being very small and annoyingly inconsistent. Whatever. As a “light-faced meadowhawk” it is a striking creature. I expect to see increasing numbers of them from now right into autumn. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter program at 1/400th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.