After shooting Amber Meadowhawks in the Allegan Forest on Saturday, I ventured back to the same area last Sunday. The weather was changing – it was hot, cloudy, and rain threatened. This weather pattern would persist all week, with some near record high days and extremes of humidity.
Sunday, in the dull light under an overcast sky, was not a great day for shooting. I wound up pushing the ISO setting to 800 and dimming the fill flash as much as possible to keep the shots form taking on a flashed look. I did manage to get a few shots of truly red Meadowhawks, and they are shown below:
The area I was working in also had a nice patch of milkweed, and it was teeming with lots of Monarch Butterflies. Here is one, sipping on a Knapweed flower:
I finally ventured back into the forest today, a week later. Last week’s wild weather, with frequent intense thunderstorms and downpours, had left its mark on the forest and several roads were washed out or flooded. My goals were to get a shot of a mature male blue dasher (before they disappear for the season) and also to get a few more Meadowhawks. I really miss the loss of the fields off 46th steet, which used to be the most lucrative hunting grounds for all sorts of meadowhawks.
At any rate – I had not luck with the Blue Dasher – didn’t see a single one, male, female, mature or juvenile. I did see a couple of brilliant red Meadowhawks, but only managed these two photos of a female (or immature) specimen and a one male on his way to getting truly red.
I was fortunate, however, to see and photograph an Eastern Amberwing, a species I seldom encounter. These are quite small – smaller than even the Band Winged Meadowhawks – and can be a challenge to photograph as you have to get very close to fill the frame. Here are a few shots: