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ShareMondays2019 – Fade To Grey

Fade To Grey

ShareMondays2019 – Fade To Grey

Dragonflies are usually quite short-lived, maybe only a week. Often an over-mature, older individual will be fading in tone and colour. This is an over-mature female black darter dragonfly found yesterday at Thursley Common NNR. It was resting on the sand, soaking up warmth for energy. Unlike many of the other dragonflies seen yesterday, this individual allowed fellow photographer Paul and I to get up really close with our macro lenses. I believe it stayed put for so long as it’s trying to conserve as much energy as possible in it’s old age. What a privilege though!

I was instantly struck by it’s fragility and faded colours. Black darters are our only truly black species and mature males are very striking, deep black with a few flashes of yellow. They’re also our smallest species of dragonfly! This individual had become parchment-like and translucent. The blacks had faded to blue-grey and brown tones while the eyes had become much lighter in tone and were strikingly beautiful. There really is a haunting beauty in the ageing of many winged insects that strikes a chord with me. It made me think of the Visage song Fade To Grey:

Feel the rain like an English summer
Hear the notes from a distant song
Stepping out from a back shop poster
Wishing life wouldn’t be so long

Devenir gris

Aaah, we fade to grey (fade to grey)

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ShareMondays2019 – Dragon Flight

Migrant Hawker dragonfly in flight

ShareMondays2019 – Dragon Flight

Male Migrant Hawker dragonflies are on the wing, defending their territories. I love watching them! They have a flight pattern and favourite areas to hover. That’s the trick to photographing them in flight! Of course they don’t always stick to the pattern exactly so it can take a bit of patience. Of all the flight images that I’ve captured over the weekend, this shot taken from above is definitely my favourite. It’s a perspective that I haven’t managed before. Standing on the boardwalk at Heather Farm allowed be to get above this particular dragon. It was late in the day so I used a slower shutter speed than normal (1/200th) in the fading light, but it gave a really pleasing effect to the wings.

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ShareMondays2018 – Summer Has Flown By

Summer Has Flown By - Southern Hawker Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Summer Has Flown By

A beautiful, male southern hawker dragonfly, fiercely protecting his territory, at RHS Wisley Gardens, in the warm sunshine yesterday. These hawkers are dragonflies of Autumn, seen into October and occasionally even November. I’m sharing this beauty for this week’s ShareMondays2018 and Fotospeed challenges.

Cusp

Summer has flown by
In the mere blink of an eye
Autumn colours reign

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Eye To Eye

Eye To Eye

The mountain village of Pyli, on Kos Island, is a favourite haunt of ours when we visit. The fresh water springs and public fountains are a relaxing spot with an abundance of wildlife. This dragonfly was good enough to stay posed while I manoeuvred to get face on with it and stared straight down the lens into those amazing eyes!

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The Emperor’s Salute

Emperor Dragonfly

The Emperor’s Salute

My specimen might be a bit tatty around his wings but these male emperor dragonflies are the real spitfires of the insect world, fighting hard and fast over their territory. He almost seems to be saluting me but I know that this behaviour is actually about cleaning and protecting those incredible and complex eyes! This close-up view was captured in the late afternoon last week, when the tired fliers start to roost in the reed beds. I’m putting this into the mix for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge.

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ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonflies are found mostly in the South of England. They’re on the wing now at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve. I was able to watch a number of them flying around the edge of The Moat Pond next to the reserve car park. They’re very territorial and quite mesmerising to watch, darting about with the metallic greens and golds flashing in the sunlight! I’m sharing this image today for ShareMondays2018 and the Wex Mondays challenges. Good luck to everyone taking part!

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Ready For The Close-Up

Dragonfly Macro

Ready For The Close-Up

I suspect that this dragonfly, at RHS Wisley Gardens, had only recently emerged when I found it yesterday. I wouldn’t usually be able to get this close to one! They have incredible eyes that take up most of the head, allowing them to see almost all around them and in higher definition than we mere humans could ever hope for. This is my entry for the Fotospeed challenge this week. Good luck everyone!