We finally got to go to a local park the other day for a walk. We had not been to this county park this year because of the stay at home mandate. We heard it would be very crowded because of the lifting of the stay at home mandate. I liked photographing dragonflies here, but with the crowds I decided to travel light and just take an m43 Olympus Camera with a Panasonic 100 – 300mm Lens. These images were all @ 300mm (Full Frame Camera Field of View ~ 600mm). We have never seen this park so crowded. Cars were parked everywhere, even by the small boat launch area, where you are not supposed to leave cars. Some of the prime areas to photograph dragonflies were blocked by people spread out on towels having picnics. But it was nice to get out and walk around and see what dragonflies we might find. After battling the crowds, we were on our way to the car when I noticed this Teneral Dragonfly waiting in the bushes for it’s wings to harden so it could fly. I believe it is a teneral Slaty Skimmer. The newly emerged adult will have to wait several hours before its wings dry out and become strong enough to fly. The dragonfly at this stage is called a teneral which is a Latin meaning tender or soft or delicate. This is a very critical period in the life cycle of the dragonfly. The tenerals are generally weak and they cannot fly very well. This makes them easily exposed to predators. However, it doesn’t take long for the tenerals to gain sufficient strength to make their first flight. In our old home we saw quite a few teneral dragonflies by our pond, so it was fun to see one here.
Nice captures, Reed, under trying conditions. We have avoided our nearby reserve due to the crowds. I’m going to forget how to use my camera. 😏
Thanks Belinda! It did feel strange to see so many people around! And without masks😊! And which way do we look in the camera!!👍
I have avoided some of my favorite places to shoot because of the large groups of people that gather there now, especially on weekends. I really like your shots of this teneral female dragonfly. Several species look similar in coloration and markings at this stage, so identification is tricky. I think you are correct in identifying it as a female Slaty Skimmer. Last week my friend pointed to me to one of his posts that showed that you can tell apart teneral Slaty Skimmers from teneral Great Blue Skimmers by look at their femurs (upper part of their legs). A Slaty’s femur is mostly black, like the one in your photos, while the Great Blue Skimmer’s femur is mostly tan. I also learned in the posting that “femora” is the plural form of “femur,” though femurs is also ok. (https://waltersanford.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/great-blue-skimmer-dragonfly-young-female/)
Thanks so much for the info Mike! I went back & forth on the ID. I kept trying to get clear shots and kept quite a distance to not bother it.
Really nice captures!
Thanks Minna! It was fun to photograph! You usually do not see to many at that stage!
Incredible shots and information I didn’t know about, thanks Reed!
Thanks Donna! I started photographing dragonflies when we put in a pond at our old home. So I got used to seeing teneral dragonflies quite often. Before that I never would have known about the life cycle of dragonflies.