Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I've been collecting dragonfly photos for a couple of weeks and I wrapped up a series today when a pack followed me up the road. As I walked along, they seemed to be staying right with me, stopping to pose, and then coming along as I moved away. Yes, they really seemed friendly! :-)

Wikipedia has a wonderful article on these amazing creatures, quoted in part here:

"Female dragonfly lay eggs in or near water, often on floating or emergent plants. When laying eggs, some species will submerge themselves completely in order to lay their eggs on a good surface. The eggs then hatch into nymphs. Most of a dragonfly's life is spent in the naiad (that is, nymph) form, beneath the water's surface, using extendable jaws to catch other invertebrates or even vertebrates such as tadpoles, fish, etc. They breathe through gills in their rectum, and can rapidly propel themselves by suddenly expelling water through the anus.[1] Some nymphs even hunt on land,[2] an aptitude which could easily have been more common in ancient times when terrestrial predators were clumsier.

The larval stage of large dragonflies may last as long as five years. In smaller species, this stage may last between two months and three years. When the larva is ready to metamorphose into an adult, it climbs up a reed or other emergent plant. Exposure to air causes the larvae to begin breathing. The skin splits at a weak spot behind the head and the adult dragonfly crawls out of its old larval skin, pumps up its wings, and flies off to feed on midges and flies. The adult stage of larger species of dragonfly can last as long as five or six months."

"Dragonfly." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 4 Aug 2009, 02:02 UTC. 4 Aug 2009 <>.


  1. Beautiful captures; amazing diversity of color and wing pattern! I think dragonflies are so hard to photo; seems I just get them in focus and then they dart off! I too have experienced them flying about me while walking; it always makes me smile and feel very special... honored even!
    I remember once many years ago (before cable and dish TV was commonplace) I was working in a shop and as it was a hot day, I had the door open. I was waiting on a customer when a huge dragonfly came zooming in and flew right between us. The customer then launched into a detailed description (not unlike your wikipedia excerpt) all about the life cycle of the dragonfly. When he finished I asked him if he was a scientist or something. "Naaaah" he replied "I just got cable TV!". That cracked me up. I still find it funny all these years later!

  2. What I find particularly difficult with dragonflys is hoping that they stay put while I am trying to line up on a plane that puts as much as possible of the critter in focus. I am soon picking up a dual flash macro unit that will nicely freeze action while allowing me to stop down for greater depth of field. (I do love the toys.)

    I wish I had a cable show for the blackberries the other night. Phew! Just try googling blackberry--all that comes up is that handheld monster that I refuse to go near.

    Once again, welcome back. You were missed! :-)