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Posts Tagged ‘dragonflies in flight’

Male dragonflies are often territorial and spend a lot of their time chasing off intruders, like these rival male Eastern Amberwing dragonflies (Perithemis tenera) that I spotted earlier this month at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. Although Eastern Amberwing dragonflies are quite small (one inch (25 mm) or less in length), they tend to hover a bit when they are flying, which makes them a little easier to photograph in flight than most other dragonfly species.

Eastern Amberwing

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Normally when I think of saddlebags, I think of cowboys and the Pony Express, but there is also a species of skimmer dragonflies known as Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata). Someone obviously thought the dark patches on the hind wings looked like saddlebags.

Unlike many of the dragonflies that I often observe, Black Saddlebag dragonflies like to fly high in the air (and not low over the water) and some of them even migrate. I was alerted to their presence at my local marsh by a recent posting by a local dragonfly expert and fellow photographer Walter Sanford, so yesterday I kept one eye to the sky yesterday as I searched for subjects to photograph.

Black Saddlebags flew over me several times and I was fortunate to get some shots of one of them in flight. It might have been nice to have used a longer lens than the 100mm macro lens that I had on my camera at the time, but the shots turned out pretty well nonetheless. The first image is the sharpest image, but I like the entire sequence of the three images and the way in which they convey a sense of the environment in which I was shooting.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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