The Dragonfly Rests

Two pairs of transparent wings
sparkling in the sun
like stained glass windows
reflecting the morning light—
the dragonfly rests.     ~ms

Standing on water’s edge, I thought I could easily take photos of a few dragonflies. Wrong answer! An extremely elusive insect with incredible wing power, a dragonfly is like a biplane, helicopter, and high-speed jet combined. It can change its direction and velocity in the blink of an eye. Even when it stops to rest, it might only stay still for a few seconds before it chooses to fly away again. I didn’t know how to anticipate the next move!

After many hours of trying (and failing), I was finally able to get one relatively clear photo of a blue dragonfly standing on a blade of grass. Good enough! I spent the remainder of this beautiful summer day sitting by the lake, relaxing under the trees.
*Update — July 25*
Today, down by the Rappahannock River,  I came across some dragonflies who actually seemed to be interested in posing for pictures. I’m not sure why, but I certainly appreciated it!


About Mary Strong-Spaid

You can find me any time wandering around in my own mind gathering thoughts.
This entry was posted in photography, Poetry, Summer and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to The Dragonfly Rests

  1. Uncle Tree says:

    Your patience was well-rewarded, Mary! 🙂 A very fine catch you have with this one!

  2. Dragonflies take a lot of patience to photograph. I can end up standing in one place for 30 or 40 minutes before the dragonflies decide I’m just part of the environment and land long enough for me to photograph them. Some don’t seem to care, others are sensitive to every little noise. I usually have to turn off stabilization and autofocus, because the noises make them fly, and often I only get one shot because the sound of the shutter sends them flying.

  3. Sharifah says:

    Beautiful post. The picture of the lake makes you feel relaxed just by looking at it. 🙂

  4. bmpermie says:

    Beautiful photographs

  5. Alli Farkas says:

    I was standing on my little dock a few days ago watching iridescent blue bodied dragonflies and thinking how amazingly quick they were. Now I’m glad you had the patience to capture one. I don’t think I could wait that long!

  6. The poem is great. Your efforts were not done for nothing. The shot of blue dragonfly is excellent.

    • Thanks Alexander!
      The dragonfly is so elusive; the master of flight!
      I plan to go back to the lake…earlier on a cooler morning. I hear the dragonfly is a little slower before it gets warmed up by the sun and the heat of the summer days. 🙂

  7. mk says:

    Your description of the erratic flight and difficulty photographing this subject reminds me of ….. UFOs. 🙂

    Beautiful shots, by the way.

  8. Snapped a good one though. Points for patience

    • There were also yellow, and green, and brown dragonflies that were zinging around at high speed–blurs of color in the morning sun.
      Yep. I am moving through life in slow motion (at a snail’s space) in comparison to the dragonfly. Humbling, to be sure.

  9. niki says:

    I love the second picture ! Lovely place and pictures 🙂

  10. You photo is amazing, well done…I have tried many time to capture the dragonfly and failed…I know how hard it is to get even an acceptable photo…

    • Thanks Charlie! I don’t think we have invented a “flying machine” that can rival the dragonfly. Because it is so elusive and unpredictable, I had to wait until it stopped moving to take a decent photo!

  11. djmrakiey says:

    Beautiful shot…

  12. laurie27wsmith says:

    A great capture on the dragonfly Mary.

  13. wodezitie says:

    I love all your posts.

  14. PublicPen says:

    You’ve captured him well! It is a beautiful shot.

  15. sknicholls says:

    I love the iridescence of dragonfly wings and the places they hang out.

  16. Wow, that’s a brilliant picture of a Dragon Fly – worth your patience!! 🙂 They are very fast, and they do freak me out a bit if they get too close, but I don’t think they would ever collide with me, they know what they’re doing. And I agree, their wings are like stained glass windows! 🙂

  17. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  18. Shery Alexander Heinis says:

    This is a magnificent photo! And the poetry accompanying the photo is so apt and captures the allure of the dragonfly.

  19. Rivera says:

    The Dragonfly is ‘jittery’ by nature. Very few live to adulthood: As most are eaten by predators.
    Even the ‘lucky’ few.. only live for a few months.
    Great Photo..
    Very nice poem.

    • Thanks!
      The dragonfly is rather “jittery” and hard to follow.
      I saw a few birds trying to capture them, and the birds were having a hard time.
      Seems there must be an easier meal to find!

  20. mavimet says:

    Great picture. Now, I’m going to have to see if I can get a picture of one of these beauties. 🙂

  21. A good catch with the dragonfly!!

  22. mk says:

    Excellent additions to your dragonfly collection!

  23. Amy says:

    Incredible captures! Really love these dragonfly photos. 🙂

  24. johngevans13 says:

    Lovely photographs Mary!! So beautiful and lively! Stay creative always!!

  25. aquacompass7 says:

    These are clear photographs.

  26. Mary, just love your dragonfly photos. Thank you for being persistent enough to capture these, especially the last. That is one I haven’t noticed in our garden yet, and it is quite beautiful. Our dragonflies are quite the camera hogs, often flying a circle and coming back to rest on the same platform for a second, third, fourth photo. They are great fun to photograph, and very challenging. What a beautiful blog you have. Best wishes, WG

    • Thankyou Woodland gnome (love the name)!
      The dragonflies around here seem to use the long blades of grass like airport landing strips.
      As you say, they often return to the same resting place several times. Maybe they have an assigned flight pattern. 🙂

      • There is definitely thought in what they do 😉 I had a group of them doing this as I took photo earlier in the summer. They all returned to the same little shrub on the bank of a creek time and again as I photographed them. I love the Rappahannock, and lived on its bank near Kilmarnock for a few years. What a beautiful part of Virginia. Best wishes, WG

  27. swabby429 says:

    I’ve often wondered if the inventors of the helicopter were inspired by this beautiful insect.

  28. davidprosser says:

    Stunningly beautiful pictures.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thank you David! Now that it’s winter, there are no dragonflies to be seen around here.
      Hmmmm…I wonder where they go. Perhaps they exit the world on gossamer wings at the end of summer, and travel on to the great beyond. I’m going to have to look it up. The way dragonflies constantly zing around, with little rest, they probably die rather quickly from exhaustion. Speaking of which….I’ve been pretty tired these days.

  29. Tokeloshe says:

    Beautiful post and photos.
    I have also found it difficult to photograph Dragonflies.

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