Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 14, 2009

Dragonfly for a change

Filed under: composition, Dragonfly, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, Non Birds, style — Tags: , — richditch @ 6:23 pm
Roseate Skimmer female

Roseate Skimmer female

Just so I don’t put off the non birder crowd completely, here’s a Roseate Skimmer dragonfly for a change. Most birders have a strong interest in other aspects of nature, and dragonflies can be a good alternative when it gets hot and bird activity declines.

This would probably be better had I used my 105 macro lens, or even the Nikkor 60mm macro on my D200 body, but as usual I was only equipped with my birding gear (300/2.8 and 2x converter). So that’s what I used when I noticed this female Roseate Skimmer in this peculiar position in a mesquite. I can’t recall ever seeing a DF with the body bent to the side like this, so I asked the best DF expert around what he thought.

This seems a normal healthy female Roseate Skimmer. If you look closely, you can see a couple of eggs hanging from her rightside cercus. She’s between egg-laying bouts. So we can deduce that the bend isn’t permanent because she had to be pretty correctly developed in order to mate (complicated in dragons) in the first place.

Roseate Skimmers don’t thermoregulate by obelisking like most other skimmers; they hang in the shade to cool off, and since the shade is kind of sparse in a mesquite, and doesn’t always fall the right distance from the best perches, she may be contorting a bit to get her abdomen into a cool spot without relinquishing her hold on a good perch.

Thanks to Pete Moulton for his knowledge.

Composition and Style: I can see some of the same attributes in this image as I do in my bird photos. First, it is understated, without bright colors. The subject is shown in habitat, and that habitat is an important component of the composition. I’ve relied on the graphics here, with repeating shapes in both the brown body to brown branch and wing shape to leaf shape.

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