Friday, July 1, 2011

White Tail Time

It is summer so it is the time of the dragonfly. I always marvel at the White Tails, they way they dart and swoop about, seldom stopping for long, and then only on the tip of a twig or blade or grass. They are nearly in constant motion.

 As light as they are, carrying that set of transparent wings on their back like a biplane made of plastic wrap, they seem to pay little attention to the breeze. And yet some days it must buffet them about like a hurricane. Surely by comparison to their body weight, the air must feel as water does to us?
 They do not like being approached closely and will often dart off just as I have trained the lens on them. They seem to know when I am about to snap the photograph. So I have learned to maintain a respectable distance (as above), zoom and take the shot at high enough resolution that I might crop it and still have fine detail. Thus:

Their blue-white tail is most notable. Plathemis lydia, they are. For eastern North America they range from Florida up into Nova Scotia. I am always happy to find them here, at our pond, enjoying a sunny summer's day, bringing some movement to the tranquil, warming water.