Flying Dragonfly
Common Green Darner

Anax junius
August 28, 2011

  It had to happen eventually. That is, being able to photograph a dragonfly in flight. I've tried doing so other years, but I worked out a better method this year.

There was also a question of practicality. While I saw any number of common green darners (Anax junius), a large dragonfly about 3 inches long, I have yet to see one perching. Only flying. So if I wanted a darner photo, it had to be a flight photo.

Because of varying light, I also had to use varying speeds, so the following three photos range from 1/400 to 1/1250 second. The three photos progress from an interesting motion blur to a sharper image.

Common green darner in flight
  And there is something to be said for the wing motion blur; it gives a good idea of the wingbeats.

The male common green darner has a green body and a blue tail.

Flying dragonfly: common green darner
  A few days later - when there was more sunlight - I had a sharp image from the same dragonfly that had the same flight pattern.
Common green darner hovering
  I assume that the above is the same common green darner. According to Dragonflies through Binoculars, the green tail becomes purple during cooler weather. Was it cool enough that morning?

Photo note: The photos were taken in the Toftrees game land during the past week, and I used the Pentax K20D with the Sigma 150-500mm lens.

Two other dragonflies, a cherry-faced meadowhawk, and an eastern pondhawk

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