Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Dragonfly buffeted by the breeze

with 24 comments

Dragonfly Hanging and Being Buffeted by the Wind 3645

Click for better sharpness.

While I was out walking on March 21st, I caught a glimpse of this dragonfly, and maybe because it was of the same overall color as the dried-out broomweed plant I found it on, I took it to be dead, too. When I looked more carefully, though, I could see the insect make an occasional small movement with one of its legs, so I knew it was alive. The dragonfly proved very good at holding tight to the broomweed and hung on even when buffeted by the breeze that hardly ever stopped blowing across the prairie in far northeast Austin that morning.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 12, 2013 at 6:14 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Maybe I do NOT want one to land on my hand after all!?! Frowning in worry over spikes on legs…

    Elisa

    April 12, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    • I’ve never had a dragonfly or damselfly land on my hand, but I’ve occasionally seen one land on other people, and none of those folks was horrified.

      I’ve wondered what purpose those hairs on the dragonfly’s legs serve; maybe to make holding on to twigs and prey easier. I’ve noticed that many spiders have similar hairs.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2013 at 7:08 AM

      • May I jump in? They help with grooming… like little combs. 😉

        Lynda

        April 12, 2013 at 7:23 AM

        • Thanks for the jump. I wonder what kind of reception would await a person who grew hairs like the dragonfly’s. (And now I’m reminded of the science fiction movie The Fly.)

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 12, 2013 at 7:28 AM

      • Another use for the bristles on a dragonfly’s legs is to help it catch prey. They can scoop mosquitos and other insects out of the air and have lunch while they keep flying. Here’s an illustration.

        shoreacres

        April 13, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        • Thanks for that extra information, which makes sense. I once saw a dragonfly lunge from its perch, grab an insect out of the air, return to its perch, and start right in eating what it had caught. I’ll have to take the source’s word for the fact that dragonflies usually eat while flying; I don’t think my senses are good enough for me ever to observe that.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

  2. Beautiful – loving the detail, especially the wings! Happy Friday:)

    cravesadventure

    April 12, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    • Happy wings (which did it for me, too) and happy weekend. Today was a sunny and productive photography day in springtime Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2013 at 3:05 PM

  3. Congratulations! I have nominated your blog for the WordPress Family Award.
    More about this award is at: http://myrtel.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/wordpress-family-award/

    justmusing

    April 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    • I’m pleased to see that readers enjoy what you’re doing to promote nature “between the lines” on your blog. Thanks also for thinking about my views of nature in central Texas. When the question of awards first came up for me a couple of years ago, I thought about it and ultimately decided that this blog and people’s comments on it would be reward enough for me without any overt awards. Thanks again for thinking of me, and I hope you’ll understand my decision.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM

  4. Never noticed all the patterns on the wings before. A spectacular creature.

    Emily Heath

    April 13, 2013 at 11:28 AM

  5. A glorious creature as well as a gymnast!

    kathryningrid

    April 14, 2013 at 7:24 PM

  6. Such a beautiful shot…. Amazing little constructions!!

    FeyGirl

    April 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    • This was a different point of view from the ones in all the dragonfly pictures I’d taken before, so I was happy intrinsically and also because of the novelty.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 14, 2013 at 10:40 PM

  7. Sci-fi material, this one! Magnificent photo.

    Susan Scheid

    April 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM


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