Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 7th, 2012

The eyes of Texas are upon you *

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Click for greater clarity, especially on the top of the compound eye.

This is the same widowskimmer dragonfly as last time but in a different and even closer picture.


* For more about the song known as “The Eyes of Texas” see The Handbook of Texas Online.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2012 at 12:55 PM

As I said, a good year for dragonflies

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Click for greater clarity.

This has been a good year in central Texas for dragonflies, as you heard me say on August 29. If the star of that day’s two posts was green, the hero of today’s is yellow and brown. As far as I can tell, this is Libellula luctuosa, a widowskimmer, with skimmer referring to the way dragonflies skim along just above the surfaces of ponds and creeks. The dark brown wing patches of this species reminded people of mourning attire among humans, hence the widow. And for those who might be interested in such things, I’ll add—thanks to Lewis and Short’s A Latin Dictionary—that the species name luctuosa is a Latin adjective based on the noun luctus, which meant ‘sorrow, mourning, grief, affliction, distress, lamentation, especially over the loss of something dear to one.’ I doubt that this skimmer was grieving, and I was anything but afflicted, because the dragonfly stayed put long enough for me take close pictures of it.

Like the photographs of the eastern pondhawk dragonfly, I took this one on August 1st along the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Cedar Park.


© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2012 at 6:10 AM

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