A Pair Of Dragonlets
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We are having an outstanding dragonfly season so far this autumn. I don’t know whether it is a consequence of our somewhat wetter than normal summer or not, but dragonflies are everywhere. That is particularly so at Sabino Canyon. The banks of Sabino Creek, particularly those areas that are open to the sun, just seem to be filled with these colorful insects. I’m seeing species there that I’ve never photographed before.
Yesterday, I was delighted to come across a Plateau Dragonlet. This fairly large dragonfly is a species that I’ve seen on occasion but until yesterday I’d never been able to get a decent photograph of one. These insects seem to love to hang out in marshy areas and the ones I’ve seen in the past have always perched on plants in boggy ground, where I cannot walk, and out of camera range. This one, however, was extremely cooperative. He perched in a wet area, but one that I could walk to with only minimally wet feet.
Plateau Dragonlets are a southwestern species, native to northern Mexico and a few locales in West Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. I love the colors on these dragonflies. That combination of garnet and powder blue is exceptional.
This individual was extraordinarily cooperative and let me approach him quite closely, much more so than most dragonflies permit. I got within about two feet of him and happily photographed away even as I wondered why he wasn’t disturbed by my presence.
And, then, I discovered why. Perching just a couple feet away from the male was a female Plateau Dragonlet.
Apparently, I’d interrupted the beginning of a tryst, and the potential lovers were determined not to be separated by a mere photographer. I was delighted to take advantage of their stubbornness.
The pronounced color differences between the male and female of this species is not unusual for dragonflies. I never would have recognized this female as a female Plateau Dragonlet but for the nearby presence of her boyfriend.
Images made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 200, f11 @ 1/160.