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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween Pennant dragonfly’

Are you always in search of new subjects or are you content to photograph the same subjects over and over again? Several years ago I came across an author who described two different types of people—those who prefer to live “widely” and those who prefer to live “deeply.” Those in the first group are always seeking new experiences and traveling to new places and, as photographers, are constantly looking for new things to photograph. By contrast, those in the second group are looking for a deeper experience and are likely to repeatedly return to the same locations over and over and photograph the same limited set of subjects.

As you might suspect, I see myself primarily as a member of the second group. Many of you have undoubtedly noted that I tend to hang out a lot in the same wildlife refuges throughout the year and often photograph familiar subjects. Why? For me, each encounter is unique—the lighting is different, the poses are different, and the age and genders of my subjects vary. I enjoy documenting the seasonal changes in fora and fauna at these locations. Each time I strive to capture different and, if possible, better images.

So, I am posting another photo of a Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina), even though I posted several images of this species last week. My angle of view for this image from this past weekend was better; the lighting was coming from a better direction; and the slight breeze prompted the dragonfly to move its wings in a way that created a better pose. Consequently, I like this image more than the ones I posted earlier.

My simple approach to blog postings is to present something that is interesting to viewers. The photos may be visually appealing or show details or behavior that you may not have noticed before. You may learn something from my words or may have a better understanding of how the images came into being. Each day we have new opportunities to fill our lives with beauty and meaning. Photography and blogging have become part of my daily journey and I feel blessed to be able to share my experiences with so many of you.

Halloween Pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Last Thursday I spotted this beautiful Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) perched on a very photogenic plant at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I love the curlicue curves of the plant that remind me of ornamental wrought iron.

The perch in the second and third images is not as interesting, but I thought that I would share those images because of the way that I was able to capture the sky and the clouds in the background. As you can probably tell, the vegetation was really high and I was shooting at an upwards angle.

 

Halloween Pennant

Halloween Pennant

Halloween Pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I never got around to posting a shot of my final Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) of the 2018 season, so today seems an appropriate time to do so. I spotted this tattered beauty on 29 September at Ben Brenman Park, a small suburban park not far from where I live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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A breeze was blowing on Saturday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and this male Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) seemed to be struggling to maintain its perch as it was buffeted from side to side.

Halloween Pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Some of my readers know that I especially love dragonflies with patterned wings and one of my favorites is the Halloween Pennnant (Celithemis eponina). Despite its name, it is a summertime dragonfly and I was thrilled to spot a beautiful female Halloween Pennant yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The “Halloween” part of its name comes from the orange-brown color of its wings. The “pennant” comes from this predisposition of members of this genus to perch on the very tip of vegetation, which causes them to wave back in forth in even the slightest breeze.

In the photo below, the Halloween Pennant is perched on a stalk of very distinctive Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides). I have frequently seen this kind of grass with red bits hanging from its stalks, but it was only yesterday that I learned what it was called from fellow dragonfly enthusiast Walter Sanford.

Halloween Pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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The biological clocks of some species seem to be ticking as the summer winds down, compelling them into frantically mating sessions, like this pair of Halloween Pennant dragonflies (Celithemis eponina) that I spotted this past weekend at Lilypons Water Gardens in Adamstown, Maryland. The challenge in photographing this type of activity is to present it in a way that is artistic rather than purely sexual.

halloween pennant

halloween pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Is it possible that I am sharing too many dragonfly images, that I am oversaturating the market and taxing the patience and tolerance of my readers? I realize that not everyone is as drawn as I am to these amazing little creatures and that some folks are repelled by insects of any variety or are simply not interested in them.

An old adage asserts that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and to a certain extent I agree with that statement. However, I would counterargue that beauty is not entirely subjective, that there are cases in which the majority of people would agree that something is beautiful.

I somehow think that this might be the case for an image I captured this past Friday of a spectacular female Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) at Huntley Meadows Park. Most of the Halloween Pennants that I have photographed this year have been males, which tend to be more visible, since they are trying to attract females, so it was a treat to spot a female. In the dragonfly world, females usually are the ones that choose the partner for mating and they frequently remain in the treeline or in open fields until they are ready.

I had my 150-600mm lens mounted on my camera, because I was hoping that I might see a bald eagle or a hawk, so I was able to shoot this dragonfly from a distance without disturbing her. I focused manually and was able to capture some beautiful details of the dragonfly, such as the two-toned eyes and the long, two-toned legs. I love the organic shape and feel of the cool-looking perch that the dragonfly had chosen. The background dropped out of focus so much that it almost looks like a studio shot and draws the eyes of viewers to the subject.

When you first read the title, you might have scratched your head in puzzlement, because the color palette is more subdued than oversaturated. By now, it should be clear that I was not referring to the colors, but to the question of whether or not I am posting too many images of dragonflies. Fear not, not all of my postings will be about dragonflies, but we are in the prime period for dragonflies, so stay tuned for more images of these amazing aerial acrobats. When it comes to the quantity of my dragonfly images, I feel like some Southerners do about sugar in their sweet tea—you can never have too much of a good thing.

Halloween Pennant

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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