IN THE FIELD: Far From Home

We live in the woods and often have visitors to our back yard. Usually it’s the four legged species like deer, rabbits, squirrels, and an occasional fox. They don’t stay long since they are typically welcomed by a loud and boisterous canine committee.

Yesterday we had a guest in our back yard not normally seen in this area since the nearest body of water is on the other side of the mountain at least a mile away. This female dragonfly had been flying around our deck looking for a late morning snack of the insect variety. She is an Eastern Pond Hawk (Erythemis simplicicollis). She landed on the grill cover to rest for spell and while she was only there for a minute or so, I managed to get two photos of her before she vanished. I was fascinated how I could see the texture of the grill cover through her transparent wings.

Photographed with my 35mm f1.8 lens, shutter 1/400th, aperture f3.5.

  1. July 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Beautiful image, David. I agree about seeing the texture of the grill through her wings. Great work. 🙂

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Thanks Bob, it’s amazing how delicate the wings are!!! I think in the six years we have lived here, this is only the third dragonfly I have seen.

  2. July 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Dude! That is awesome! Was she singing it’s not easy being green? 🙂

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Many thanks Teri, ya know I did hear a faint voice that did sound just like Kermit…couldn’t understand it though.

  3. tedgriffith
    July 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Outstanding work, my friend! 🙂

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Thank you Ted, she allowed me to get within a foot of her before she took flight!

  4. Jo Woolf
    July 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Beautiful! I love the gossamer wings. Is your heatwave still ongoing?

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Jo, I love the structure in the wings and gossamer is a perfect way to describe them. The heat wave is still here but at least it’s only in the high 80’s and low 90’s. No rain in sight.

  5. July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Beautiful Macro David,Dragonflies are really difficult to photograph in macro, because they never stay still for long-always on the move and a bit camera shy, i guess they know they don´t have much time to get everything done!
    I´ve never been able to get a good Dragonfly closeup to this day! so Well done 🙂

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Thank you Adrian, honestly this was my first also. Been trying for years. They are people and camera shy for sure. She was only there long enough for me to grab the camera, sneak outside, and grab two shots before she took off.

  6. July 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    It is unusual to see a grill cover through a dragonfly’s wings.

    Steve Schwartzman

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

      I didn’t notice how transparent the wings really are until I put the photo on the screen. In fact, my wife saw that first.

  7. July 12, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Great capture David. I know how difficult it is to photograph these beautiful creatures. It is a lovely colour.

    • July 12, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Meanderer, they are flighty little creatures. The male of this species is blue with green eyes. She was a long way from a water source so I was lucky to even see her, let alone get a photo!

  8. July 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Great capture, David! Love the color of the dragonfly. I’ve seen a few of these (red ones) around, but they don’t stay long enough for a shot.

  9. July 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

    How beautiful is that! I am not a fan of insects, but if I saw this, I would run to grab my camera 😀

    • July 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      That’s what I did too. I was washing the breakfast dishes and saw it land on the grill. Dishes can wait, grab camera, sneak outside and grab a few shots while I can!

      • July 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        I’m glad you didn’t miss the chance to document this beauty! 🙂

  10. July 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Nicely captured, David. Assuming the shot is uncropped, you must have been quite close to the subject given the 35mm lens.

    • July 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Kerry, well you almost got it…I did crop it a bit and The closest focus range is about ten inches. I know I was pretty darn close to that mark!

  11. July 13, 2012 at 12:31 am

    What a pretty visitor! That’s a lovely shade of green.

    • July 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Yes she is, this was the first time I aver saw a female of this species…I’ve seen the males which are blue, down at the creek we used to fish quite often!

  12. July 13, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I haven’t seen this color before. Awesome shot! I love the dragonflies.

    “In Japanese culture, dragonflies are considered as a symbol of strength, happiness and courage. They are often mentioned in Japanese literature and art, especially haiku…..In Japanese paintings, dragonflies represent new light and joy. Dragonflies help you see through your illusions and allow your own light to shine in a new vision. They remind us to pay attention to our deeper thoughts and desires…..A dragonfly lives a very short life and it tries to live to the fullest with what it has.”

    • July 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      It was a first for me too Fergie! How interesting the description is that you shared. Thank you so much!!!

  13. July 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    WOW! Great shot. Thanks and Love, nia

    • July 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Thank You Nia, she flew away just after I took this photo so at least I got to see here for a few moments.

  14. July 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Magnificent macro!

    • July 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      I don’t usually photograph insects, but I am pretty happy with this one…it’s the only shot of a dragonfly I have ever been successful with.

  15. July 25, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Pretty Pond Hawk! I’m glad she rested for a minute in a convenient spot. Makes things much easier for the photographer!

    • July 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      How true!!! They don’t stick around long to model for us photographers!

  16. July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    What a great picture of the dragonfly. We were walking by the Allier river the other day and saw a whole bunch of gorgeous teal coloured dragonflies, which I discovered (via is called a Banded Demoiselle, and is even more beautiful than in the photograph — especially when there are a couple dozen or so flying around you!

  17. July 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I checked out the link and they are quite beautiful…I can only imagine what that must have been like!!! I would bet you guys are having a marvelous time traveling and just going wherever the the latest whim takes you!!!

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