I'm showing this end of the pond for a reason. First of all, our pond level is down over a foot, due to lack of sufficient rainfall this year. The whole area just in front of the tree closest to the ponds' edge is where the shown darners spent alot of their time. You can't see it in this photo, but in that area...the ground level actually juts out about 6-8 inches..the first darner photographed was in this area.... and this is where she was ovipositing. This was taken yesterday on Oct. 18th...I thought for sure my dragons would be gone. Our lows at night have been in the low 30's. When this darner flew down in front of me...it was quite breezy and about 55 degrees outside. What's confusing to me...is that she looked just like the MALE Green-Striped Darner in my D&D guide, not the female. She was right in front of me, I just held the camera straight down....I got a good look at what she was doing. This is the area where she was somewhat under the ground(where it juts out), I thought if I leaned out over her to capture a better photo of what she was doing...I might scare her off. She was beautiful! When she first appeared as I stood there, I didn't have my camera. I asked my husband who was fishing to go and grab my camera, thinking she'd be gone if I went. I really thought my friends wouldn't be out...I also saw four Meadowhawks yesterday.
These last four photos were taken about a week ago in the same area, there two darners, one we saw briefly, this one was predominately blue. The other was mostly green and the stripes on the abdomen were thick horizontal stripes which were deep green. This dragon spent nearly a half hour around me...hovering next to me as I sat on the ponds' edge...sometimes just about a foot away...we just looked at eachother! Of course, there's me....the "Dragonfly Whisperer" (yeah, it's a nice place in my own little world!), talking away to it the whole time! I must have taken 50 or better photos...I thought for sure I had many perfect photos! I eventually just put the camera down and enjoyed the company of this curious dragon. And, uh, as far as all those "perfect" photos? Well, unfortunately...this is it. Now, I know dragons in flight are the most challenging to capture, but seldom do I see the darners at rest...add to that they love being in the hot glaring sun...I did add shadows and messed with these photographs to try and reduce somewhat the sun glare.
Here I am looking back on photos that I took this past summer...I started playing around and zooming in...and look what I found in the bottom right corner of the top photo. Yes, I cropped it for you! Another dragon...o.k....what is it? And on top of all this excitement...look to the upper right of that dragon. There is a VERY large spider looking down on that dragon! I wonder what unfolded that day?! What's your money on? The dragon or the spider? Or did they talk over their differences and just walk away? I've got to tell you, this was like finding the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box!!
I had thought with all of our cool daytime highs and very cool nights, my dragons would be out of sight. Sunday was beautiful and the high topped out at about 72 degrees. Can you imagine my excitement when this darner flew right in front of me, maybe 7 -8 feet away and landed?! It was a little breezy, and of course, Patches kept brushing up against me to pet her(I was sitting on the hill facing my cattails). The pictures aren't clear, I felt I had to rush and click, click , click....no time to experiment with settings! The reason being is that for my larger dragons, they have always been so elusive...they enjoy teasing me. They'll fly high, do a surprise zoom past me, or I'll turn around and one was just behind me and quickly flies away! I'm going out on a limb here...I'm fairly certain this is the Green-striped Darner of the Mosaics'. By the coloring...I'd assume it's a male. Anybody???????
It took me a few weeks to photograph this female Eastern Pondhawk in this first photo. Then finally one day, I was able to capture these shots. These two were in the mating wheel practically on top of my foot, they were that close.
The first two photos are just a couple more close-ups of an Eastern Pondhawk. The third photo at first glance I thought was maybe a young adult female Blue Dasher...but on close inspection...I 'm thinking this may be an Elfin Skimmer...due to the horizontal stripes. The Elfin Skimmer is endangered. Of course, I don't have an extremely sharp photo, the more I look at this ...the more confused I am. I make this observation as a very new amatuer and am anxious to hear from an expert on this I.D.....Tom...where are you? The last dragon shown is a mystery to me...this photo was taken within the last week. When this one was spotted, it appeared more brownish in person. I have my guess on this one, too, but hestitate to make one more guess!
***POST EDIT...after Toms' kind input..I retitled this post...the third photo down is NOT an Elfin Skimmer...it is a young adult female dasher.***
I, like many of you I am sure, love the beauty that nature has to offer. I am originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area..."transplanted" here to a small country town just southeast of Canton, Ohio. I thought it may be nice to share some of what I experience here everyday at what my husband and I call..Wishnik Woods. To sit on our dock and watch all the dragonflies play tag and do their acrobats for hours couldn't make me happier(but who has the time for that?). I enjoy gardening and in my photos you'll see many up close and personal shots. I thank God everyday for my husband, family and our dream come true. Our little piece of paradise is not a showplace by any means, just a simple cabin nestled back in the woods, the place we call home. In a nutshell, a little of this and a little of that is what you'll find here in Wishnik Woods!