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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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