Sunday, December 20, 2009

Maplewood Dragonfly Workshop

When I began this blog my subjects were mainly birds with a few mammals that I photographed mainly while we were on vacation. After a while I found myself getting kind of bored in the middle of summer because I was mostly seeing the same types of birds each time I went out.
That was when I began to photograph other things that I found interesting. At first it was butterflies, which seems to go natural with birds, but then I started getting interested in dragonflies like the big green darners featured in the photographs above.
I remember catching dragonflies by the tail in the long grass when I was a kid but I did not really know a lot about them. So I started reading about dragonflies on the web and came across the website for the Minnesota Odonata Survey Project. I found a lot of good info on Minnesota dragonflies on their site and also found that they sponsored some workshops. So I took my first dragonfly workshop in August of 2008 at the Maplewood Nature Center. By this time I already knew that I had really been catching damselflies, like the one above by the abdomen when I was a kid.
Damselflies are typically smaller then dragonflies, however some of the larger damsels are bigger then the small dragons. All four of the damselflies wings are the same size and shape where a dragons hind wing typically differ in size and shape from the forewing. When perched damselflies will hold their wings together up over their abdomen while dragons rest their wings out to the side. The exception to this are the spreadwing damsels that rest, as their names suggest, with their wings spread. The photo above is a slender spreadwing damselfly.
Damselflies also have separated eyes, like this spotted spreadwing. Most dragonflies have eyes that touch each other at some point. Again there is an exception to this rule because clubtail and snaketail dragonflies also have separated eyes. All of these photos were taken at the dragonfly workshop in August 2008.

10 comments:

teresa said...

Very interesting post and the photos are just awesome.!

awarewriter said...

you never disappoint. These photos and your commentary are wonderful. The damselfly looks like a small jewel.

Colleen said...

Great shots and very informative. I love close ups of critters, if they'll just cooperate!

Müge said...

Beautiful photos with an informative and interesting explanation! I have never seen these insects in real life but only on photos! Incredible but true! :-( Have a delightful new week and a Merry Christmas! :-)

Jay said...

All good info - and your photos are great. I especially like the second one, the close up of the eyes! So beautiful!

Jama said...

Your photos are simply awesome!

Judy said...

i am simply blown away by the second photo!! the details and the lighting are incredible!!!

Helena said...

Absolutely stunning ... especially the second one! The colours are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing with us. :)

Dragonfly Lady said...

Great Captures the detail seen is fantastic, thanks for the education too!!

Chie Wilks said...

awesome Macro shots...i clearly see the finger prints..and the lines on the wings of the dragonfly

mine is up too