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.
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.
Slaty Skimmer: Alwive Pond, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I think most dragonflies are beautiful…in a steampunk kind of way…but sometimes dragonfly photography is not all about the dragonfly. This Slaty Skimmer kept perching on the pickerel weed which makes a dense mat in the waters along the shore of Alwive Pond in Kennebunk Maine, and I could not resist taking way too many photos, trying to capture the contrast, both in color and structure, between the dragon and the delicate flowers…it was only in processing that I discovered the beauty of the background…which really “makes” the shot. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Shutter mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Eastern Pondhawk: One off my favorite dragonflies! I like the subtle change from blue to green and I really appreciate the little green dots on the hind side of the eyes. 🙂 It is a bonus that they perch so nicely for photos. I am seeing quite a few pondhawks this season, everywhere from the mucky drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center to the clear clean waters of Day Brook Pond on the Kennebunk Plains…so they do not seem to as fussy about water as some of the dragons. Nikon B700 at 1440mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Spangled and Slaty Skimmers: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — These two dragonflies are both highly competitive and fiercely territorial, so it is strange to see them sharing the same perch. It was an unusually hot day for Southern Maine, and I suppose any perch in a heat wave, but still… Nikon B700 at just over 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications for this camera. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Slaty Skimmer: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Wildlife Management Area, Kennebunk, Maine, USA — It was unusually hot yesterday for southern Maine, and there were lots of the common dragonflies out and active at Day Brook Pond. Slaty Skimmers now outnumber Spangled, but both are still there in good numbers. Perhaps because of the heat, the Slatys were perching a lot…and this one landed too close for a telephoto shot. I decided to see how close it would let me get and switched to macro focus on my Nikon B700, flipped out the LCD so I could see, and leaned in. This was taken at 97mm equivalent, at the outer limit of the macro focus, from about 4 inches. Not an identification shot, but interesting all the same. 🙂 Program mode and processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.