Saturday, October 18, 2008

DARNERS IN OCTOBER...

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.



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18 comments:

Gallicissa said...

I too find flight shots very difficult to achieve - I think I don't try enough.

I have been wanting ask this:
Is that pond a natural one?

I have been hoping to create such a large one in my back yard. Of course, I have to sacrifice a few trees for it which would be painful.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Gallicissa....No, we bought 16-1/2 acres of pure wooded property, cleared the land and built the cabin ourselves. My husband cleared the land for the pond also, we placed the pond where the land had a "sometimes creek", as I called it. Let me tell you..my heart broke as each tree came down...we started in winter(feb), by the end of April, the pond was full! It's just about a 1/4 acre pond. We are surrounded by hills so that did it. If you can do it, do it! You won't be sorry...I can't say enough about the enjoyment it's brought...even at the expense of losing some trees. This year was the third summer for our pond.

Gallicissa said...

Thanks, spookydragonfly.
Wow! 1/4 acre pond sounds very exciting.

Two more questions: how is its bottom natural or concrete?
Is it rain fed or do you pump water to it periodically?

I will be starting work on my pond tomorrow by chopping down a few trees. I cannot afford to clear a big area for a pond as it would mean sacrificing some valuable rain forest trees that I have planted long ago and looked after closely!

Anyway, some tough decisions will be taken tomorrow...!!

Baker Watson said...

It's great that you still see a few dragons around. I see a few on the sunny days and like yours they seem to be very anxious to get on with the reproduction. Oddly, after the weather cooled some of the ones I have seen were first time visitors for me.

spookydragonfly said...

Gallicissa...The bottom is natural, pretty much a slurry mix(that's what they call it)of our clay and shale when we dug down. We didn't add gravel either.

It's rain fed...we have one hardwood hill on one side of the property and one hill that's mostly Ponderosa Pines,on the other side. The back of the property is at a slighty higher elevation as well. So, we have quite a large watershed filling the pond. Add to that some small srings in the back of the woods. The locals around here told us to give it a good year or so to fill up...my husband disagreed and said it'll fill in a couple of months. He was right. Even still, this year with so little rainfall, you can see how low the pond is. I'm so happy for you to get a pond, let me know of your progress! I know you have valuable trees that you worry about...but anyone that's got a pond always wishes it were bigger after the fact. Good luck!

spookydragonfly said...

Gallicissa...o.k....chapter two...no, we've never had to pump water into it. Fingers crossed...we have well water that we access right next to the pond(much deeper down , of course)and so far have never run dry. In your climate...with a pond..wow, you're going to have lots of dragons! (jea-l-ou-s!)

Tammy said...

Thank you for popping by my blog, and for the nice comments about my painting. I would have been here sooner but I haven't been online for a few days.

I love your photos of the dragonflies. Your pond is lovely.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Tammy...Thanks for the visit...I would like to see more of your paintings, just couldn't pull up your other site!

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Baker...yes, that does seem odd. Don't you have another month or so of dragonfly weather? I know we're much colder up here now and the cooler weather starts much earlier in Ohio...doesn't it?

Gallicissa said...

Thanks a lot, spookydragonfly.
You are lucky to have positioned yours in a watershed. I hate to have a concreate bottom but that would be necessary in my case, I think.

Last question, do you have any fish in it? I hope not!

Yes, I think I will a few dragonflies staking claim to the one I am going to build. My garden Odonata list has 22 species, which include 3 species of damselflies and 19 species of dragonflies. This is with just a single pond teeming with fish.

When you add the numbers of my home garden and 2 of my local patches - one within 100 m and the other 1.5 km, I have over 1/3 of the Odonatofauna of Sri Lanka.

So definitely, some very exciting times ahead!

spookydragonfly said...

Gallicissa...yes, we have fish! That was my husbands' very reason for wanting a pond. I didn't want them, but now I do enjoy them, although I don't fish(I can't stand seeing them with a hook in their mouth-ouch!). I have mentioned how I feed them..they think they're koi now!...and how they follow me around the pond in a few of my posts on my other blog. It's kind of neat, I'll walk around and the water ripples in the direction I'm going. Yes, I know they eat my dragons. Yesterday, one of the fish was just watching me , a meadowhawk flew in front of me at the waters' edge. He started quickly towards the dragon...and I quickly put an end to that! Of course, I've saved a frog and toad out of the mouth of snakes...really! I'm such a bleeding heart...I know it's the law of nature, I just don't want to see it! We have Bass, Blue Gill and one Perch.

Next year..I want to take a serious count of how many species of damsels and dragons I have. This was the first year we had so many dragons..a few last year.

Gallicissa said...

Thanks, Spookydragonfly.
I would not have fish in my pond for obvious reasons. Today, I created a patch for the pond by chopping down a few trees. None of them were 'rainforest types'.

There's a lot of work ahead...!

Pseudothemis zonata said...

A season changes, and favorite dragonflies leave in front of me. It is May of the next year that I can meet them next. For six months in the future, I am lonely.

spookydragonfly said...

Hello Pseudothemis...I know what you are feeling, I found so much enjoyment in my dragonflies. I would love just watching them play amongst themselves. I really enjoyed their curiousity of me, as well. We have something to look forward to, come next year! (Ha! Maybe I'll learn to take better photos by next year...and that's a big maybe!!)

Megan said...

Thanks for the nice comments- we are excited. A new adventure and for Tom, somebody new to take pictures of! :-)

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Megan...Thanks for the visit, hey, be happy that your hubby wants pictures of you...that's got to make you feel good!

camellia said...

1/4 of an acre, that's a lot larger than my entire garden! Wow, you can almost paddle in a canoe on it – do you?

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Camellia...Yes, we have a canoe. It's nice to have just to go out and relax in...but you're not going to get very far paddling top speed! If you go back to my main blog, scroll back, I've posted a couple of photos with the canoe. Thanks for the visit to this blog!