Damselfly & Dragonfly Season is Starting Soon

It will not be long before we start seeing Dragonflies & Damselflies here in NJ. These are some of my favorite photo subjects. The images here were taken years ago at my pond at my old home. These were taken with an old 200mm Canon FD Manual focus macro lens adapted to a m43 Panasonic GH2 Camera or a Canon 400mm DO Lens with extension tubes for closer focusing. FOV of the Canon FD lens on a m43 body gave me the equivalent of a 400mm Macro lens. The Featured Image is a Damselfly with a raindrop on it’s head.

Damselfly Side View, 200mm FD Canon Lens, Panasonic GH2
Blue Dasher Dragonfly, 400mm Canon DO lens with an Extension Tube for Closer Focusing, Canon 1D mkIV

Bald Eagle In Tree Portrait

On a previous visit to the Blackwater NWR we saw this Bald Eagle in a tree at the entrance to the Refuge. I thought this was going to be a Great Day for photographing Bald Eagles. After I went through the Entrance Gate I pulled over to get out of the car to photograph the Eagle. The Featured Image was taken when I got a little closer and is cropped for an Eagle Portrait. I got quite a few images before I continued on the Wildlife Drive.

Bald Eagle in tree by Wildlife Drive Entrance before I moved even closer

Another Blackwater NWR Bald Eagle FlyBy

Another Bald Eagle flyby taken from a different visit at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. These were taken from the Tubman Road Trail which is a small walking trail down the road from the main Refuge & Wildlife Drive.

Bald Eagle with a bird meal, Canon 400mm DO lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV
Bald Eagle with a bird meal, Canon 400mm DO lens, 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV

Preening Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron

This Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron image is from a previous trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery in Florida. It is an interesting place to photograph Florida birds. Many types of birds nest here because their nests are protected from predators because of the Alligators below the Boardwalk. Image taken with a 400mm DO lens on a Canon 7D.

Osprey Landing At Nest

These are from a previous visit to the Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, Brigantine Division in Oceanville NJ. There are many Osprey Platforms with nests scattered along the Wildlife Drive. So if you are patient and wait for the Ospreys to return you can get some interesting flight & landing images. If there are young Ospreys in the nests there is usually more activity with the adult birds bringing food and feeding the young. These are images are of a landing sequence. Images were taken with a Canon 1D mkIV with a Canon 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x Canon Teleconverter. Looking at the Camera Raw Data the nest was 154 feet from the Wildlife Drive .

Osprey Touchdown & Landing at nest. Canon 1D mkIV, 400mm DO lens, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter.

A Series Of Blue Dasher Dragonfly Images

Here in NJ Dragonfly season will be ending soon. I am seeing fewer Dragonflies & Damselflies at our local parks, Wildlife Refuges and even our yard. Here is a collection of Blue Dasher Dragonfly images from a variety of local Parks & Wildlife Refuges. The Featured Image was taken with a Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 2X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV @ f11 & with Fill Flash. Dragonfly distance from camera ~15 feet. Some images were also taken with Extension Tubes on the lens, but Extension Tubes do not show in the RAW Data in Adobe Bridge so I did not list them in the image info on each image.

Blue Dasher Male, 12.5 ft away, Canon 400mm DO lens, 2X Teleconverter, stacked 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/11 with Fill Flash (using 2 Stacked Teleconverters f/11 was shooting with the lens aperature wide open! Lost 3 stops of light with the stacked Teleconverters)
Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV,@ f/8, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Female, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, f/8, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV, ISO 1600
Blue Dasher Male, 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, , f/8, Canon 1.4X Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, teleconverters, f/11, w/ Fill Flash for detail
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/9
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400mm DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/8
Blue Dasher Male, Canon 400m DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, @ f/8
Mating Blue Dashers, Canon 400m DO lens, Canon 1D mkIV, Fill Flash, @ f/13

More Blue Dasher Dragonflies

Another series of images of one of my favorite dragonflies, the Blue Dasher Dragonfly. These were taken over quite a few years and lots of locations. Almost all were taken with a Canon 1D mkIV with a 400mm DO lens. Some with 1.4x or 2X Teleconverters for added reach since they were out a ways in a pond or stream.

Male Blue Dasher, 400mm DO lens,f/11, 2x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV (15 ft away)
Female Blue Dasher, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Female Blue Dasher, Canon 400mm DO lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Male Blue Dasher, 400mm DO Lens, f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher (Female), Canon 400mm DO lens, @f/11, Fill Flash w/ Better Beamer Flash Extender, 1D mk IV
Blue Dasher (Male), Canon 400mm DO lens, f/9, Canon 1D mkIV
Blue Dasher (Male), Canon 1D mk IV, 400mm DO lens @ f/13
Blue Dasher, f9, 400mm DO lens, @ f/9, Canon 1D mk IV
Blue Dasher, 400mm DO lens @ f/8, Canon 1D mkIV
Mating Blue Dashers, Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens @ f/13, Canon 1D mkIV, with Fill Flash, FX-1B “Better Beamer” Flash Extender
Blue Dasher, Female, Canon 400mm DO lens w/Extension tubes for closer focusing, @ f/11, with Fill Flash, FX-1B “Better Beamer” Flash Extender, Canon 1d mkIV
Male Blue Dasher, 400mm DO lens,f/11, 2x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV

Eastern Pondhawks At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

We usually like going to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge Maryland for photographing Bald Eagles. It usually has one of the largest amounts of Bald Eagles in the Northeast. But in the Summer I also like it for the large amounts & different types of Dragonflies you can find. Here I am posting some images of Eastern Pondhawk Dragonflies. Blackwater has a long Wildlife Drive so you can find a large variety of Dragonflies because of the different varieties of habitats along the Drive. Some of the best areas are by the Observation Platform that goes out above the grasses over the water & along the Wildlife Drive where there is standing water on both sides of the Drive.

Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly, 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV
Female Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly, 400mm DO lens, 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon 1D mkIV

Monarch Butterfly On Buttonbush

I was looking for Dragonflies to photograph at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland, but came across this Monarch Butterfly on this Buttonbush plant. I was using a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1DmkIV. I thought it looked interesting hanging upside down on the spherical pincushion blossoms. They are composed of dense clusters of tiny white tubular flowers. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is often lauded for its utility rather than its beauty. Its commercial introduction in 1735 was primarily for beekeepers (hence, its other common name of honey-bells), who cultivated this deciduous shrub as a pollen and nectar resource for honeybees. This wetland shrub can be found in low-lying areas, swamps, marshes, bogs, and wetlands, and along the edges of ponds, streams, and rivers. It is often used to develop and restore wetlands, control erosion in riparian areas, and create wildlife habitats.

Osprey Defending Nest

On a visit years ago in the Spring to Blackwater NWR there was a lot of activity around the Osprey Nests along the Wildlife Drive. It was in mating season and the Ospreys were busy on the nests. This image was when an other osprey kept trying to get to the nest. On this pass the defending Osprey almost went upside down with claws out defending the nest. Plus there was a lot of screeching of the birds going on. This was the best image of the series because the more it was going up to defend the nest I cut off some of the Osprey in the image. Not sure if there were eggs in the nest or just wanted the nest. Image taken with a 400mm f/4 DO lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1D mkIII.

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