Yesterday this female Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly, shown in the following three shots, landed on some stones in our garden. This common dragonfly is found in Canada and all the American 48 states below it. Its male counterpart would have 10 white spots next to the brown ones.
I went to the Lotus pond again this year. It no longer has any pink or red Lotus, and now every flower is white. While taking pictures of the flowers, I noticed many dragonflies fluttering about and switched to photographing them.
As usual, there were many Blue Darters.
Then a couple of dragonflies with a reddish orange tail flew by. I am going to call it a Red-tailed Darter, but if you know the correct name, be sure to let me know. It is about 30% larger than the Blue Darter, and I did not see them land on any plant or anything else.
Then as I was taking a shot of a Lotus flower, a rare Hummingbird Moth flew toward it.
Finally, a couple more shots of the dragonflies.
Usually I photograph lotus blossoms in early morning, but yesterday I arrived at the pond around 2 PM. Sunlight was falling almost straight down on top of the flowers. Looking at the results, I thought a monochrome rendering of the images would be appropriate.
Finally, a monochrome dragonfly shot, taken about the same time.
This morning started with fog, followed by rain, then finally sunshine. After making sure the sun was there to stay, I went to the lotus pond near our house to photograph this year’s flowers. There were not many yet, it’s still too early for them.
There were many dragonflies flying around the pond. The Eastern Amberwings darted here and there, their orange color contrasting sharply with the green lotus leaves.
It was cooler today, though not by much. It got as hot as 90 F (32 C) then stopped there before backing down a notch. I took the opportunity to go to a local park in search of summer flowers to shoot. Here are a few that are representative of this time of the year.
Finally I managed to catch a dragonfly almost in flight, but not quite.
Today I took a quick trip to the lotus pond in early morning, when it was still not too hot. The flowers were mostly gone, with fewer than a dozen left, like this one below.
There were many pods, some filled with large seeds, right next to flower buds still trying to bloom.
Nearby, in deep shade, hosta flowers were in full bloom. The buds were white and a pale lavender at the tips.
Finally, the dragonflies were as plentiful as ever. I tried to snap a few shots of some that were flying and buzzing around from end of the pond to the other, but nothing came out well. Finally, I had to settle for a stationery Blue Dasher basking in the warm sun.
At the height of summer, a trip to the lotus pond near our home has become an annual event for me. The pond is not too large but well maintained, endowed with many white and pink lotus flowers. There are plenty of shade trees around it to protect photographers from the sun and the heat. This morning, at the golden hour I went there and “owned” the pond for a half hour before others arrived. All of the flowers were white, as the pink ones usually bloom as much as two weeks later.
For the following photos I used two Canon lenses: a 180 mm macro lens and a 400 mm lens, both reputed to be among the sharpest lenses with excellent colors.
The first dragonfly I saw this season was a Widow Skimmer standing still at the tip of a dried twig. It stayed there for a long time, leaving only briefly and coming back almost to the same spot. That allowed me to circle around it to take shots from different angles, at least from the Delaware & Raritan canal bank.
The Delaware Raritan canal lies less than 2 miles from our house. I went there today to see whether there were butterflies and dragonflies to photograph, and found four different kinds. I am no expert on these insects, so please correct me if I get their names wrong.
This next one, American Lady, landed on the gravel path right in front of me and flapped her wings until I got several shots of her.
What would summer be without dragonflies? This past week I went to the lotus pond near our house and photographed the following dragonflies.
There were several other types of dragonflies at the lotus pond, but the photos I took did not turn out well enough. Will try again another day.