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.
On our photography tour at the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center I saw a few dragonflies, that mostly eluded me as they fed at high speed.
This one took a rest on a nicely placed reed. Just as I was getting in place with a good angle for the background I felt a sharp bite on my leg. Ants! Needless to say that was the end of those pictures as I spent five minutes getting the little buggers off me and out of my shoes.
Capturing Dragonflies in flight is not easy. Their small size and erratic flight path is hard to follow. For some reason this one was hovering for an extended period of time just over the edge of the pond.
This rather large dragonfly was looking for a spot to land and finally settled on this pretty lichen covered branch. In the first image he was hanging on to a bit of Spanish Moss.
He then got a better grip on the branch and stayed put. I did not see any insects for him to prey on. It was almost 100 F (37 C) and I wondered if he was looking for some shade. I don’t know what is going on with his tail–it looks like some plant debris was hitching a ride.
First decent photograph, that is. It seems like all of the dragonflies I’ve encountered this spring have been frantic, with none of that rhythmic pause, fly off and return to the same spot routine I got used to last year.
I liked the first image as much for the seed heads as the insect. The second image is the same dragonfly, on another nice piece of foliage.