Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A closer look at the green dragonfly

with 32 comments

Click for greater clarity and considerably larger size.

Here’s a closer look at the green dragonfly that you saw in the last post and that I’ve tentatively identified as a female eastern pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis. In a comment on this morning’s entry I mentioned that I often take a few preliminary pictures even if I’m farther away than I’d like to be just in case the animal I’m photographing gets spooked, takes off, and doesn’t return. I gradually get closer and closer, hoping that my subject stays put and comes to accept me as merely another nearby object. This dragonfly eventually did, as you can tell from such a close view.

The white hexagons on the dragonfly’s compound eyes may make you think I used a flash, but I didn’t.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 29, 2012 at 1:11 PM

32 Responses

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  1. This is amazing Steve.
    The detail is impressive.
    Great close up, beautiful colors too.

    Pablo Buitrago

    August 29, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    • Thanks, Pablo. This dragonfly and I hung out together in close quarters for a couple of minutes while I took a bunch of pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM

  2. Wow! Such an incredible creature close up!


    August 29, 2012 at 1:47 PM

  3. What a great photo! It almost begs a name! I’ve noticed that at this time of year the dragonflies are much less likely to take off but seem to like to settle on a stalk or something and bask in the sun for a bit. Although i have to tell you, this moring the bees seem to be jet propelled around here.


    August 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    • As a photographer I’m grateful to this green dragonfly for sitting still for a couple of minutes and not emulating your bees.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2012 at 2:13 PM

  4. Gorgeous! Those greens are brilliant…


    August 29, 2012 at 2:19 PM

  5. Sagenhaftes Makro, so etwas ist mir noch nie gelungen.Klasse !!


    August 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    • If I make this out correctly, Mathilda is saying that this is a fabulous macro, something she hasn’t yet managed to do, and she finds it classy. And I say, good luck with one of your own.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

  6. I love it! I am an avid DragonFly lover!


    August 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    • I would say so, with your screen name of SpiritedDragonFly11. I don’t foresee getting up to 11 dragonfly pictures on this blog any time soon, but I do expect to squeeze in one or two more in 2012.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2012 at 6:17 PM

  7. Simply amazing!

    The Jagged Man

    August 29, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    • I’m happy to amaze
      With this dragonfly’s gaze.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2012 at 9:03 PM

      • Nicely done with word, photo and wit!

        The Jagged Man

        August 29, 2012 at 9:23 PM

        • I plead guilty to using word, photo, and wit,
          Innocently applied, so you’ll have to acquit.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 29, 2012 at 9:28 PM

          • I concede, Court dismissed but keep the wonderfully educational photos and narrative coming!

            The Jagged Man

            August 29, 2012 at 9:32 PM

  8. Again, exceptional! Thanks for taking us up close-up. Now that face would make a fun character for Bonnie Michelle’s children’s book.

    Sheila T Illustrated

    August 29, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    • You know my take: close is often the way to go.
      You remind me that my father was fond of using the phrase “a face that only a mother could love.” That seems to apply to this dragonfly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 29, 2012 at 9:22 PM

  9. Splendid photos, both of them. I’ve heard that The Scientists intend to produce little dragonfly-sized drones to patrol among us and keep track of our comings and goings. If they do, I hope they have the good sense to paint them up just like this. 😉


    August 29, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    • I’d heard that, too. Talk about a brave new world: in the future, only a keen observer may be able to tell the real from the fake.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2012 at 5:04 AM

  10. Superbe photo, cadrage et mise au point extraordinaire. J’adore.


    August 30, 2012 at 4:51 AM

  11. Wow – I think that’s the best image of dragonfly eyes I’ve ever seen. Absolutely spectacular!

    Good fieldcraft too, that’s how I try to approach dragons and they are often very accommodating, but I don’t think I’ve ever managed to get quite so close.

    Finn Holding

    August 30, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    • Thanks for your accolades and for the world fieldcraft, which I don’t think I’ve heard or read but which is surely apt. I’ve managed to get this close on some other occasions, too, but it’s hit and miss. I have another close view scheduled for next week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

  12. I love this extreme closeup! I think dragonflies are the coolest insects!

    Michael Glover

    August 31, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    • It was good of this dragonfly to let me get so close. I plan to show a similarly close picture of a different species in about a week.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 31, 2012 at 11:43 PM

  13. Love those eyes! Super cool shot!


    August 29, 2014 at 9:45 PM

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