All male dragonflies have three terminal appendages: two (2) cerci; and one (1) epiproct. All three appendages are white. Male Stream Cruiser cerci are shaped differently than female cerci: male cerci look like a pair of ivory elephant tusks.
If you look closely at the full-size version of the following photo, then you will notice the focus is slightly “soft.” Here’s the backstory. I waited nearly 30 minutes for this male to land in a spot where I could shoot its photo. When the dragonfly finally landed, I positioned my Coleman camp stool at a distance of approximately six feet from the subject: the dragonfly was perching on one side of a trail; I was sitting on the other side. As soon as I shot the first photo, I noticed a family of four plus a BIG dog approaching my position rapidly. I rushed to take a second shot, in case the group didn’t stop. They didn’t stop — they charged ahead, passing between the dragonfly and me. I never saw the same dragonfly again.
So what’s the take-away from this negative experience? The people must have noticed that I was trying to photograph something, yet they didn’t stop and ask whether it would be OK to pass by. If they had, then I would have asked them to indulge me for a few minutes so I could shoot a few more photos. Don’t be like these people — please be considerate of photographers that you encounter, especially wildlife photographers!
The last photo in this set is my favorite. It’s tack-sharp and the palette of background colors complements the coloration of the dragonfly. I love it when a plan comes together!
Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.