Eastern Pondhawk: SMMC Kennebunk, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — I have been watching out for these. The Eastern Pondhawk is one of my favorite dragonflies. I like the subtle shades of blue and green, blending into each other, and I like the fact that it sits on sunny rocks for its portrait. 🙂 This is a male. The females remain mostly all green with brown stripes on the abdomen while the males develop this prunosity that renders the abdomen increasingly blue. They are active, agile hunters, but they like to sit and sun themselves as well. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
It was a day for Skimmers, or perhaps the season for Skimmers has come, at the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center in Kennebunk, Maine the other day. Four-spotted, Widow, and Twelve-spotted were all active. Multiple 4 and 12-spots, but only the single 4-spot. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos, and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100-200 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Calico Pennant Dragonfly: Kennebunk Plains Preserve, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Calico Pennants are not rare dragonflies in southern Maine. They are pretty common in fact, and they are with us pretty much all summer, but I am always happy to see the first emerging in early June…maybe a bit late this year. I found a few yesterday along the pond edge on the Kennebunk Plains. Their habit of perching on the very tip of vegetation, generally between 6 inches and a foot off the ground, where they swing in the wind like a flag, makes them excellent photographic subjects. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th.
Green Darner Dragonfly: SMMC drainage ponds, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Dragonfly activity at the drainage ponds at Southern Maine Medical Center has been low this month until yesterday, when suddenly the air above the ponds is alive with dragons of several different species. Green Darners, the largest of the North American dragonflies, have been back in the area at least since early May, in small numbers, around most ponds. During daylight, Darners are pretty much in constant flight…and they are fast!…so they are particularly difficult to photograph, unless they are mating or ovipositing as they are here. The female is injecting an egg into the waterlogged reed stem below waterline. It will go through up to 13 different morphs, getting larger each time, until it crawls out of the water to emerge as a flying dragon. Since these are mating in June already, they are most likely migrant darners. The nymphs will finish their cycle and emerge in late August or September and head south…where they will mate during the winter, and the next generation will move back north in early spring. The Green Darners we see mating here in southern Maine in July and August are resident darners. They will remain in nymph form for a full year, to emerge in July or August next year. Odd, yes, but it seems to work for the darners. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 160 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Minus .3EV exposure compensation.
Frosted Whiteface: Day Brook Pond, Kennebunk Plains Conservancy, Kennebunk, Maine, USA, June 2022 — Besides the Damsels from yesterday, a few early Dragons were out at Day Brook Pond. Lancet Clubtails of course, which seem to be the earliest Odo to emerge in Southern Maine (I saw my first the 3rd week in May), but they are now joined by both Chalk-fronted Corporals and Frosted Whitefaces (pictured here in both rear and front view). I even found a just emerged teneral Skimmer…probably a Slaty Skimmer but it was too early to tell for sure. The Frosted Whiteface is so tiny, it makes the Corporals look big! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed (and enlarged) in Pixomator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th and 1/500th.
Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly: Kennebunk and Wells, Maine, USA — The Autumn Meadowhawk is the only dragonfly flying this first week in November here in southern Maine, but there are still fair numbers to be seen, almost anywhere where there is water nearby. The top one was along the Kennebunk Bridle Path where it crosses a more or less fresh water marsh beside the Mousam River. There are always dragonflies there and it is one of my favorite places to look for them. The bottom one was taken in the deep woods at Laudholm Farms, with only a little stream nearby, not a place I would particularly look for any kind of dragonfly. And not only are they still flying, I had a mating pair land on my chest (I was wearing a bight yellow hoodie for hunting season safety and perhaps the color attracted them). Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos and assembled in FrameMagic. ISO 100 @ f4.5 and f4 @ 1/1000th and 1/500th.
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.