Posts in Category: Odonata

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.

Violet! Variable Dancer, damselfly

This is an embarrassingly simple photograph. Just a snap really, of an interesting damselfly: The Variable Dancer. Dancers are delicate damsels, with a wavering, uncertain flight, that, if it reminds me of dance at all, reminds of little girls (or boys) spinning aimlessly on a grassy lawn. But you have to admire the color on this one! They are, as the name implies, variable, so they are not all this purple, but when they are purple, they are very purple. Way to go dancer! I found the one in sand along the shore of Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Ebony Jewelwing

Ebony Jewelwing, Emmon’s Preserve, Kennebunkport, Maine — As it happens I am better acquainted with ebony, the wood, than most. I apprenticed for six months with a violin bow maker, and spent most of my time making “frogs”…the part of the bow at the end where you grip that holds the hair and moves to adjust the tension of the bow. The frog is made of ebony. So when I tell you that the wings of the Ebony Jewelwing have a texture very close to real ebony, you can believe me. Both have the subtle “grain” of just lighter streaks…which is hard to capture in a photo. It took some fancy luminance masking in Polarr to bring up the texture in the wings in this photo, without throwing the rest of the exposure all out of wack. No credit to me. Polarr makes it easy. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Spangled Skimmer: Forth of July Dragonfly

Spangled Skimmer, Forever Wild Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine — I like dragonflies (you might have noticed). They are amazing creatures from a creative design and mechanics point of view, and often aesthetically amazing as well. This skimmer is nothing special to look at while perched, but in flight, those white spots on the wings make a dance like a child swinging a sparkler on the Forth of July. A thing of beauty. And fitting for the day. 🙂 This is not your usual id portrait shot, but I find the pose interesting and the details of face and the plant as well. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Delta-spotted Spiketail

There is a poem that goes with this:

6/18
Stalking one of the (admittedly,
kind of ugly) drainage ponds
on the grounds of one of the
senior citizen condo complexes
(very upscale) between here
and Wells behind Route 1,
I was hit hard enough to stop
me in my tracks with one of
those “whoo, what is that!”
moments. You know them if
you are into any kind of nature
study...I get them still once in
a while, in birding, and I am
new enough to the whole dragon
and damselfly thing so they can
still happen on any outing. This
was a dark dragon, relatively
large, with bright yellow spots
and big jade green eyes, something
I certainly had never seen before.
“Whoo, what is that!”
Those moment are certainly
part of what keeps me birding
and a big part of what has me
hooked on dragons and damsels.
“Whoo, what is that?”
And then you have the fun of
finding out...digging out the
books and apps and coloring in
the background, fitting the critter
into the complex framework of
what we know about dragonflies
and damsels and life in general.
(This was a Delta-spotted Spiketail.)
That too is part of what keeps
me watching and photographing
nature. Always something new
to see and learn. How great is that?

Says it all. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Stream Cruiser

Stream Cruiser, Cold Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I am thinking the north side of the Kennebunk Plains is still under State management, as the signs have not been replaced, but the big yellow gates are up there too, limiting access to Cold Brook Pond at the back of the plains as it slopes off to the Mousam River. I did make out there on my last odes trip to the plains, and found many Stream Cruisers patrolling the path as though were a stream. Males this time, and perhaps a few females that did not perch for me. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. I noticed something I had never seen before. The club on the end of the abdomen was “breathing”, visibly swelling and contracting in a regular rhythm. ??

Racket-tailed Emerald

Racket-tailed Emerald, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I have now seen both male and female Racket-tailed Emeralds and an American Emerald in the same little cove on Day Brook Pond. I am talking a small area here, maybe 12 by 12 feet, six feet out over the water, and six feet back from the shore among the sheep’s laurel and ferns. I don’t know enough about Emerald behavior to know if that is unusual or not…but impresses me. 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Disputed territory. Dragonflies

Dot-tailed Whiteface and Eastern Pondhawk, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — These two were actually having a dispute about who owned this sunny piece of driftwood. They drove each other off repeatedly as I watched, even though there was plenty of room for them both. 🙂 The Eastern Pondhawk (male) is another of my favorite dragonflies…I know it is beginning to look like all the dragonflies are my favorites…but I really like the blues and greens on this dragon. The fact that it often perches nicely for photos does not hurt either. Sony Rx10iv at 494mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications…but I overrode the settings using Program Shift for greater depth of field to ensure both dragons were in focus. ISO 100 @ f14 @ 1/100th. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.

Spangled Skimmer, another FOY

Spangled Skimmer, Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Nature Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — Another of my favorite dragonflies…the Spangled Skimmer is not so striking perched, kind of plain in fact, but in flight with those white spots flashing the sun, it is a wonderful thing to watch! I am always happy to find my first of the year. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.