Dragon Fly

100 Posts! Damsels, Dragons and a Phasmid

This is a celebratory posting – my 100th for this Blog which I began in December 2010 as a way of sharing my developing photography.  Isn’t that great!

Some gorgeous winged creatures to mark the occasion….

There was a short time yesterday morning when it was still, with no rain or wind.  Everything was still wet but the insects were out enjoying the warmth and filtered sun.  These shots were taken down by the Lake, where I had a couple of lucky sightings, one of which I shall write about tomorrow.  I never cease to be amazed by the beauty of the Damselflies in various colours, and the larger Dragonflies with transparent veined wings and striped bodies.

This one was low down on a reed, waiting until its wings were fully expanded before taking off on its first flight.  Taken from above, it reminds me of a World War II bi-plane about to taxi along a runway for take-off!

This is a Phasmid – a Stick Insect which lives on leaves, mainly Eucalyptus but will also nibble others if needs be.  I don’t often see them as they are difficult to spot due to their camouflage – they really do look like sticks, and if disturbed will shake like a twig in the wind….This one was very obvious clinging to a green water reed, and was about 12 cms long with gorgeous purple wings folded on its back.

Tomorrow I shall tell you a tale about two bees….

I’m also posting these for this week’s Creative Exchange.


Rain-drenched Dragonflies

Today is the first day of Autumn………it is cold, wet and windy and has been since last Friday.  I have needed a fire to warm the house as it was so cold – such a contrast to a week or so ago when it was amazingly hot.  The ground is sodden and on the road leading into town there are huge Eucalyptus trees that have been blown over or have broken limbs and everywhere is covered with leaf litter.  Therefor I was very surprised to find that there are still Dragonflies emerging from the nymph state by my lake, so late in the season and in such foul weather.  These photos were taken yesterday, I picked the water reeds on which they were clinging, and brought them up to the verandah, out of the wind and rain, to photograph.  It took a couple of hours for them to fully emerge, pump their wings and then fly off…..into the rain.


Beautiful Bugs and a Bird…

Have been busy with Beyond Layers assignments, which I hope to show soon…..Click here for the Flickr site if interested to see some great work….In the meantime, some recent shots of insects from the garden……the first three are of a very beautiful katydid that I rescued from the dog’s drinking bowl.

And finally, a juvenile Crimson Rosella – there were eight of these in the back garden this morning, all looking very green.  When they mature, they will get their gorgeous scarlet plumage.

Enjoy!

 

 

 


Insects, Damsels and Dragons….

Photographed in the last few days by my lake and in the garden.

 

I hope you enjoyed these!


Damsels and Dragons…

There is a large, shallow lake on this property which attracts a large variety of wildlife, birds, frogs and insects – it is a favourite hunting ground for subjects to photograph and I can usually be found there early in the morning when the light is soft.  I have often taken pictures of dragonflies after they have emerged from the nymph stage and before they take flight for the first time, but I had never witnessed how it happened.  A few days ago I found a nymph about to undergo this change, and was able to capture it.  The whole process took a couple of hours, and unfortunately I missed a bit, but these will give you an idea of what happens.  It was fascinating.

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There are two Damselflies included in this slide show – they are smaller, and hold their wings straight against their body.

For those who want a scientific explanation of it all check this site.

All taken with my Canon 550D and 100mm Macro lens.

 


Fairies?

Today is warm…..and this morning in the early sun there were many newly emerged Dragonflies sitting on water reeds before their first flights…it was magic to watch as they opened their wings for the first time, sat for half an hour or so, then began to flex their legs and wings before beginning a whole body and wing tremor for another couple of minutes and then up and away…..I was not there early enough to see any emerge from the nymph shell and think this may happen before dawn.  Perhaps tomorrow I shall go down with a torch and see if I can catch that happening.  I hope you enjoy seeing these.

Reeds with Dragonflies warming in the sun

This last one was different – orange in colour and smaller with distinctly dark tips to its wings.


The right place at the right time…..

I was really lucky this morning to spot this Dragonfly, newly emerged from its nymph stage, and sitting on a water reed drying off in the early sun.  You can see the old nymph skin lower on the first photo.

And then it took off on its maiden flight……


Early morning by the lake….

Initially it was very misty this morning, but then the sun began to light everything with a wonderful glow – the multitudinous spider webs sparkled in the gentle sun, Dragon Flies covered in dew waited to warm and dry off,  and Damsel Fly nymphs which had climbed up water reeds, emerged from their skins and sat for a while before beginning their erratic flights.  It was magic.

All photos taken with the Canon EOS 550D and Macro lens, using a tripod.  Enjoy…..


Not for arachnophobes…..

I ignore the majority of Spiders’ webs which adorn my house at this time of year, as I’m always looking for a good photo opportunity to take a picture of the resident Spider, or it’s prey.  This is one of the ladies which live near my backdoor, she is an orb weaver who usually comes out during the night.  Today she has been sitting in the middle of her now tatty web, catching various insects.  Her body is about half and inch long.

This poor fellow became trapped in another web, and attracted my attention by frantically trying to fly away, but he was firmly trapped.  Once he had posed for his photo, he was released.

As usual, taken with the Canon EOS 550D and Macro lens.


Rainy Day #2

I found this poor Dragon Fly on my doormat this morning, blown in or sheltering from the storms of yesterday.  He was barely alive, but I put it on a Hydrangea to take a photo, and after a few minutes it flew away…..

I spent quite some time trying to take a good shot of the Vine Leaf Moth larvae, but this was the best I could do.  They have very fine hairs on their bodies, which move constantly – the light was poor, and even with a very fast shutter speed there was movement as you can see, and good depth of field was impossible for the same reasons.  I should have used some fill in flash.  None the less……here it is in all its spots and stripes and colour.


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