Green Darner

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.

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