Dragonfly Time – Terry Thormin

The earliest dragonflies up here on Vancouver Island start flying around mid-April. But it is not until late June or early July, depending on the year, that things start to get really active. Well things are active now and I though I would write a short blog about it. My favorite place to photograph dragonflies is Little River Pond, a man-made pond a short 8 minute drive from my home. I have recorded 20 species of dragonflies there and on a typical summer day will regularly see 10 or more of those species. I spent a pleasant 2 hours there yesterday (June 25) and although I only saw 9 species, it was the number of individuals and level of activity that was impressive. Here are a few of the photos I took.

I will often provide a perch for dragonflies at Little River Pond. This is particularly helpful for the Common Whitetail which normally perches on bare ground. On this occasion a Four-spotted Skimmer decided to use the perch, and I couldn’t resist taking its photo. At a distance this is one of our drabbest dragonflies, but up close a freshly emerged individual is a real gem.

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The Blue Dasher will often land on a perch I provide, but I much prefer it on a natural perch. The problem is that often it perches fairly deep in the grass where getting a shot without a cluttered background is difficult. On this occasion it landed on a grass stem that was isolated enough from the rest of the vegetation that I was able to get the out-of-focus background I wanted.

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That Common Whitetail that I was hoping would land on my perch actually did many times and I got several shots of it. In the end though my favorite shot was one on a grass stalk. This was a coulorful grass stalk, aging and turning orange, and I had seen a Four-spotted Skimmer land on it and thought that would make a good photo. I set myself up and waited, and before the skimmer landed, a whitetail decided to land briefly and I got this shot. I decided to leave the dragonfly fairly small in the photo to enhance the composition with more of the grass stalk.

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I couldn’t resist adding one last photo. I love the challenge of shooting dragonflies in flight and on this occasion the shot I got was of a pair of Cardinal Meadowhawks flying in tandem and ovipositing in the pond. For those of you who love dragonflies as much as I do, happy dragonfly hunting, and for those of you who haven’t developed the passion yet, I hope a little bit of this rubs off.

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About annieandterry

This is a blog shared by two friends who have never met in person, Annie Pang and Terry Thormin. We both live on Vancouver Island, Annie in Victoria and Terry in Comox. All communication to date has been either by email or telephone. We are both passionate about nature and conservation and we are both nature photographers. Annie is also a very fine poet and was a concert violinist, while Terry worked as an entomologist for the Royal Alberta Museum until he retired in 2005. We hope you enjoy this joint effort to share our nature musings with anyone who is interested.

Posted on June 26, 2014, in Nature, Photography and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Wicked great photos, Terry. I’m going out tomorrow in search of dragonflies. I don’t think I’m too early, but we’ll see.

  2. Susie Claxton

    I came upon a heavenly host of Dragonflies at a peach orchard produce stand in California.veroclax The sign for Polly’s Peach Pit drew me down a long driveway to an opening between peach trees where Polly’s house and fruit stand were. All around above my head were hundreds of Dragonflies. I did not try to find any to examine closely, so could not even tell you the colors, except perhaps green. The multitude of them was just so amazing, as were the peaches I selected.

    • Hi Susie. This is a dragonfly swarm, an occurrance that is becoming better documented, due in part to a woman who blogs on wordpress and gathers reports of dragonfly swarms from right across the continent. You can find her by searching for the Dragonfly Woman. There are two reasons for a swarm, one is that the dragonflies are migrating, something that a few species such as Common Green Darners and Gliders do. The other reason is simply to exploit a food source when there is a concentrated emergence of certain species of insects.

  3. Wonderful shots. It’s prime time for dragonflies now and I am happily chasing after them.

  4. Those are GREAT pictures ,Terry Jan

  1. Pingback: Four-spotted chaser dragonfly video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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