Friday, June 6, 2008. Clubtails no longer dominate the fields north of the river. In the course of a few hours, I see only one specimen of the insects who were so prevalent just a few days earlier. Now the fields are full of Common Whitetails – some having attained mature coloring – and Twelve Spotted Skimmers. The sandy soil is still damp from the torrential rains of the previous day. The Pine Barrens are lively with color – red wild millet, green spongy moss, the first yellow coreopsis blooms, and green knapweed sprigs.
These fields do hold a few rewards. Early on a large dragonfly lumbered by, and lit on an oak seedling, just a few inches above the ground. I lay down in the damp soil to get a few shots of this subject. It was only when I returned home and checked the field guides, that I learned that this subject was the not-so-common Brown Spiketail. This was definitely a first sighting for me.
A short distance away, a more common species provided a nice photo opportunity. An immature Blue Dasher took up a position on a dry twig, again just a few inches above the ground. Flat on my stomach again, the dragonfly provided some splendid poses, resulting in a nice macro-portrait.
I visted a few other spots in the Allegan Forest, ultimately winding up at the old farmstead. The Dot-tailed Whiteface Dragonflies were in abundance near the parking area. They had come a long way since the week before, with most of them in the mature coloration or well along in their transition to it. The vernal marsh is a few hundred yards away from the parking area, and while it was bursting full with water after the heavy rains the day before, there were few dragonflies to be found there. Surprisingly, there were few subjects there. By this time the wind had picked up considerably, driving anything airborne to cling low to the ground. I headed home, just a few hours ahead of a phenomenal line of thunderstorms that would really give the area a good soaking.
These pictures are adorable! What lens did you use? Thank you for the interesting facts. I have been wondering about dragonflies for some time.
Comment from: Member
Thanks Barbara! The current images were taken with a Pentax K10D and an old A* 200mm macro lens. I use a home made flash bracket to help with the lighting.
THanks for looking!