Spring of 2006 I bought my first Nikon camera, had to learn what an f-stop was, how to control exposure, and summer of 2006 I took the series of photos below.
Bugs with an Attitude
This story begins when I visited a local stream, with camera in hand, eager to practice macro photography with a new 200mm macro lens. The first thing I did was place a fake housefly on top of a twig, secured my camera onto a tripod, and snapped the image below...
After taking the photo above, I realized that noon was not the best time to photograph small objects outdoors, the light was too bright, creating unwanted glare on the wings. I decided to keep practicing, and moved in a bit closer with the camera, and being unaccustomed to finding and focusing on such small objects, I struggled to find the fly in the viewfinder. Surprisingly, by the time focus was achieved, the fly was no longer on the twig. After searching for several minutes, crawling around on the ground, on hands and knees, it finally occurred to me, something had taken the fly away, it was nowhere to be found?
After pulling another fly from my box, and deeply embedding it into the twig, I positioned my camera, focused though the viewfinder, and took a photo that stuck me as being rather unusual.
A bright orange dragonfly seemed rather determined to pluck an easy meal from the twig
Luckily the fake fly held tight, otherwise, it would have likely disappeared as well
This beautiful dragonfly was as focused on lunch as my camera was upon it
Smiling for the camera
Beautiful Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata) dragonfly, holding my realistic fly
This dragonfly pulled vigorously, and became increasingly agitated, missing lunch
Macro close up view
Then it struck me, what would happen if I place a fake dragonfly on the twig...
Almost immediately the orange dragonfly returned, landed beneath my yellow and blue dragonfly, and slowly creeped closer and closer, but never did make contact. Numerous photos were taken, and a variety of facial expressions seemed evident, including this photo where it appears a mate might have been found. After about 15 minutes of quiet rejection, the orange dragonfly left the scene.
I began to wish I had a realistic orange dragonfly to place on the twig, to see what the reaction would be. The closest thing I had was an old yellow and brown dragonfly, and perhaps putting some food in its grasp would entice the orange dragon to return.
It returned with an attitude, no hesitation what so ever, it was time to attack. It was interesting watching how savage and angry the dragonfly's attitude was, clearly trying to tear apart the wings of its foe
After a few minutes of furious action, the battle seemed to have been decided, he was king
I kept playing, and placed my dragonfly
on a different twig,
to see if the orange dragon would return with such a territorial attitude.
The attack was severe enough that the impostor was knocked sideways
He's king of every twig on the stream
I suddenly had a burning desire to make a realistic orange dragonfly
I returned the next day, with a replica orange dragonfly
The action was fast and furious!
At times it seemed as if the king had found his queen
Another fake dragonfly
Another attack, trying to disable the wings
I enjoy being outdoors with camera in hand...
More Dragonfly Photography
Dragonfly in flight
Newly emerged dragonfly drying its wings
Another dragonfly in flight...
Tiny Blue Dasher inspecting a mayfly replica
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