This dike between two rice fields is less built up than most that I’ve walked, putting me down closer to the water than normal. Also unusual is that the edge of the path is a coarse grass about up to my knees rather than tall reeds.
The SC Department of Natural Resources staff had recently mowed the dike, making for an easy walk.
I went there April 28 hoping to see wading birds but instead found a tremendous variety of dragonflies.
Dried out vegetation was a popular perching choice.
A few opted for living grass, and this blade was wide enough to create a nice shadow.
There were gaps in the vegetation along the path allowing me to line up this shot with the duck weed covered water as the background.
Some of the dragonflies preferred perches over the path.
Surprisingly with all this dragonfly activity I was unaware of mosquitoes or other flying insects around for them to eat.
I have seen dragonflies much earlier this year than the last few. Last year’s post Dragonfly, First of the Season was May 9th. In the comments of that post fellow blogger and dragonfly enthusiast Mike Powell (https://michaelqpowell.com/) thought that insect “looks to be a female Eastern Pondhawk ” and I am thinking this one might be also.
Several of them were flitting ahead of me on a wooded path and I was pleased to get the image of this one hanging onto a blade of grass.
Boynton Trail, Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
March 26, 2020
And there it was, hovering right in front of me over the pond. My shutter speed was only 1/800 but I took it any way as this was the first dragonfly I’ve seen this year. He stayed around a bit but my subsequent efforts at a higher speed weren’t as good as this one.
Nearby a second dragonfly, perhaps an Eastern Pondhawk, kept returning to this log, looking like he’s not quite ready for action.
With spring just beginning there will be ample opportunity for some better images of these curious creatures.
Just to round out the scene, here’s the log with the dragonfly about 2/3 of the way back.