Category Archives: dragonfly

A Wing and a Prayer

This dragonfly is beautiful . . . but flawed.

Here’s a basic rule of thumb when it comes to photography and my beloved dragonflies: When you don’t have your Nikon digital SLR and 105mm macro lens with you, they’ll be posing for you. Mockingly.

Case in point? Yesterday at a nearby park. My younger son wanted to practice some disc golf shots on one of the holes there; it’s the location of tonight’s handicap mini finale. He drove us there in our old Mercury Villager so he could get in more practice before he tests for his license in December and parked near the hole’s tee box. When he put his disc golf bag on the ground, he said, “Look at that!”

The dragonfly rested in between trying to escape.

“That” was a gorgeous dragonfly, which was motionless on the ground. At first, I thought it was dead, but then it started buzzing about. Of course, I had left my good camera equipment at home, because I planned to shoot the action today. Fortunately, I usually carry my Canon S90 point and shoot, so I whipped that out and tried to get as close as I could.

Wonder what happened to its wing?

All too soon, it was apparent what was wrong with the d-fly: Part of its wing was missing. The poor thing could kind of hop around, but it couldn’t get off the ground. I really felt sorry for it, because now it’s a sitting duck to be picked off by a bird.

As we left the park, I bade the dragonfly goodbye, adding a brief prayer that it’s able to stay alive for the rest of its lifecycle. Wonder if it’ll be there tonight? You know I’ll be looking for it . . . with my Nikon D700 and 105mm lens!

Update: When I checked the park last night, the wounded dragonfly wasn’t in the same area. I’m hoping somehow it managed to hop into the nearby woods where it will be protected.

My Pants Are On Fire

The hot tub

Want to know what makes me feel old? Lower back pain. The aching came on suddenly Sunday evening, and before long I was hobbling around as if I needed a cane and a senior citizen’s home.

When Bayer Back and Body didn’t knock out the throbbing yesterday, I decided to climb into our literal hot tub (the 104-degree air temperature made the water temp 90 degrees) and try to soak my discomfort away. Ah, it felt so good!

What have we here?!?

As I was letting one of the hot tub’s jets work on my back, I looked at the brick wall that surrounds our backyard. Remember the last time I did that while in the hot tub? Once again, I couldn’t believe my eyes: Hanging out near the grass was a pennant dragonfly! And right after I had typed my latest blog post about not seeing any of my favorite flyers this summer (not that this was happening in our front yard . . . but, still, the timing!).

Love those wings!

Just call me an accidental liar liar.

Such a Sad Summer

I sure miss my dragonflies! (August 2010)

The Houston area has been suffering through an extended drought all year. Everyone’s grass looks brown in places, not helped at all by our unrelenting heat (today’s expected high? 105 flippin’ degrees!).

Where did our petunias go?

Personally, our front yard landscaping has taken a beating. Our agapanthas didn’t bloom, our Knock Out roses refused to show up, and our petunias literally disappeared after a couple months.

Our society garlic hasn't been sociable to dragonflies this summer.

Which probably is why there have been no dragonflies visiting us this summer, unlike last year when we usually had one friendly flyer almost every day in August (three entertained us on one amazing day!).

Hello, gorgeous! (August 2010)

Oh, how I miss seeing their cute, little faces as they posed on our plants just beyond our front door! I still check for them every day, only to be disappointed. This has been such a sad, hot, dry summer for us. Will it ever end?

Hope does spring eternal, though! Not only is Thursday’s high supposed to be a relatively “balmy” 86 degrees, but . . . wait for it . . . rain actually is forecasted. It could make for a wet Labor Day weekend, but, hey, we need it, and we’ll take it!

Hope it’s good weather for the dragonflies, wherever they are.

One-Word Wednesday

A pennant dragonfly on a windy morning (Nikon D300 and Nikon 1.7x teleconverter)

Dragonfly!

Sunflowers and More

A bunch of sunflowers grow near a neighboring community’s lake.

Few flowers make me smile when I see them as much as sunflowers.

The promise of a future sunflower looks intriguing.

It could be because yellow is one of my favorite colors. But it’s really because they look so friendly.

Good morning!

As I was walking through our neighboring community recently, I was thrilled to see several patches of sunflowers along the bike path. I couldn’t wait to return with my digital SLR to snap photos of them.

The view behind the sunflowers also is fascinating.

Of course, I knew that I wouldn’t just snap pix of sunflowers.

A cattail lives close to the lake.

When I was walking along the lake earlier in the year, I was saddened by the lack of vegetation due to a freeze.

A bee grabs pollen from a purple lake plant.

Fortunately, that was only temporary. Now the reeds and plants have grown back along the lake’s banks. And you know what else has returned to the body of water?

A red dragonfly flies above his blue brethren.

Dragonflies!

A blue dragonfly tries to blend in.

Always a challenge to photograph, you know I’m looking forward to clicking lots of pix of my favorite flyers.

A fly takes front and center on a flower.

This kind of fly? Not so much.

Disc Golf Helps Us Commune With Nature

My younger son drops in a putt.

I don’t know about other families, but when we have an open Saturday, we tend to head to a park.

Especially one that has disc golf baskets.

The Mister putts while seated for some reason.

While the Mister and our younger son concentrate on throwing discs, I focus on snapping a few photos of them . . .

An Indian Blanket shows off its multicolored beauty.

. . . along with many more of whatever nature has to offer.

The pine trees stretch high into the sky.

A couple Saturdays ago we visited Timber Lane Park in Spring, Texas, which features a nine-hole, very-wooded disc golf course.

Crimson clovers dot the landscape with red.

It wasn’t a very big park, but there was enough eye-candy nature to keep me busy.

A purply stalk stands tall.

It doesn’t take a lot of room for wildflowers and flora to grow.

Despite the drought, the grasses look healthy.

Of course, I wasn’t going to be content to just snap disc golf and plants. I needed to have a “flying” challenge to keep my photographic juices going.

I’m glad it’s not an aggressive kind of bee.

Fortunately, there was a spot that had a different kind of bee than those aggressive honey bees that don’t like me snapping pix of them. That was a welcome change!

A damselfly rests.

Close by was a small damselfly. Those flyers were nice, of course, but you know what kind of winged insect I like best, right?

Hello, gorgeous!

A dragonfly, of course! This was the only one I saw, and it was nice enough to stop and pose for me.

All in all, it was a wonderful Saturday adventure: The guys enjoyed playing disc golf, while I got my fill of nature, both firmly planted in the ground and usually buzzing around in the air.

One-Word Wednesday

This unusual-looking dragonfly was resting on the outside of my house last Sunday.

Dragonfly!