Posts Tagged ‘friendly’

Thermal energy vampire!

November 24, 2017

The following photographs show an Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum vicinum) perching on Walter Sanford (hey, that’s me!) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by his terminal appendages.

All three photos were taken by Lisa Young during a photowalk with me along Easy Road.

Most dragonflies are skittish. Some species of dragonflies are “friendly,” such as Blue Corporal dragonflies (Ladona deplanata) and Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum). It’s probably not a coincidence that both types of dragonflies are early- and late-season species, when the ambient air temperature is cooler.

Some odonate experts speculate dragonflies perch on people in order to absorb thermal energy radiated by the relatively warm human body. Or in this case, a black backpack — a good spot since darker-colored objects absorb and re-radiate thermal energy more quickly than lighter-colored objects.

Related Resource: Five Guys, a blog post by Walter Sanford featuring photos of male Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies taken before the meet-up with Liza Young.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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What’s yours is mine

January 8, 2016

Dragonflies, especially the “friendly species,” have no understanding of either personal space or property rights. Of course that’s only part of their appeal!

The following individual is a male Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum vicinum), perching on the leg of my Columbia convertible pants. I spotted this guy at the “accidental vernal pool,” my nickname for a vernal pool located near the terminus of the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park that was created accidentally during construction of the new water control system.

The last three photos show another male, perching on my Coleman camp stool, near the small observation platform above the water control system.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Say hello to my little friends!

November 21, 2015

Ever feel like bugs are crawling all over your body? Sometimes the feeling is real! The Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) were especially “friendly” during a recent visit to Huntley Meadows Park, landing on me frequently as Michael Powell and I were searching for Great Spreadwing damselflies (Archilestes grandis).

My Photos

The following individual is a male, perching on the leg of my Columbia convertible pants. Regular readers of my photoblog know I’m especially fond of head-tilts in which the dragonfly seems to display some of its personality. Like this guy, who I imagine is thinking “What are you looking at? That’s right pal, I’m perching on your pants!”

The next photo shows two individuals perching on my pants, both females, as indicated by their coloration and terminal appendages.

The last individual is another female. I shot this photo by bending over at the waist and shooting the photo upside down. Apple “Aperture” detected the orientation of my camera and automatically flipped the image vertically.

Mike Powell’s Photos

Mike was in a better position than me to shoot photos of some of the dragonflies that landed on me.

I highly recommend shooting the same subject … with another photographer and comparing results. It’s fascinating and instructive to get a sense of how a single situation can be interpreted and how each photographer makes a whole series of creative choices that result in very different images. Source Credit: Garter Snake in November, by Mike Powell.

The following mating pair is shown “in tandem,” perching on my upper thigh: the male is on top; the female on the bottom. My viewpoint made it impossible to take a good photo of this pair — good thing Mike was nearby to record my close encounter of the odonate kind!

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11 NOV 2015 | Photograph used with permission from Michael Powell.

The next photo shows a female perching on my right forearm. Tough shot for a lefty! (See below.)

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11 NOV 2015 | Photograph used with permission from Michael Powell.

The last photo shows a female perching on the heel of my right hand, near my wrist. Although I’m left-handed, the shutter button is always on the right side of cameras — a one-handed shot was impossible for me in this situation. Again, Mike to the rescue!

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11 NOV 2015 | Photograph used with permission from Michael Powell.

Related Resource: Meadowhawk Mike

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More friendly Autumn Meadowhawks

October 28, 2015

Two more “friendly” Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) were spotted recently at Huntley Meadows Park. Both of these individuals are males, as indicated by their coloration and terminal appendages.

The first male is shown perching on the leg of my Columbia “Aruba IV” convertible pants.

The last male is perching on my Coleman camp stool.

Related Resource: Huntley insects endorse Coleman camp stool

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Hook-up on Aruba

October 26, 2015

Most species of dragonflies are skittish; some are “friendly.” Maybe a little too friendly! Like the following mating pairs of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted recently at Huntley Meadows Park.

The first mating pair is shown “in wheel,” perching on my leg: the male is on top; the female on the bottom.

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel, perching on my leg (Columbia pants).

21 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawk (mating pair, in wheel)

I’m wearing a pair Columbia “Aruba IV” convertible pants, hence the title of this blog post. And you thought I was talking about a romantic encounter on an island in the Caribbean Sea!

The pants feature “Omni-Shade™ UPF 30 sun protection” that makes the fabric reflective, and the subject was very close to my camera (remember the inverse square law of light). In order to avoid blown-out photo highlights, I needed to set my external flash unit for the lowest power ratio (1/128). The net result: slightly underexposed images of the dragonflies.

The mating pair was “in wheel” when the dragonflies landed on my leg. After a couple of minutes, the female disconnected from the male’s hamules; the pair remained “in tandem.”

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in wheel/tandem, perching on my leg (Columbia pants).

21 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawk (mating pair, in tandem)

What happens after odonates copulate? Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies engage in a form of guarding behavior known as “contact guarding,” in which the male and female fly “in tandem” to egg-laying sites. Contact guarding is used by some species of odonates to prevent aggressive males from hijacking the female.

The last mating pair is shown in tandem, perching on my leg: the male is on the lower-left; the female on the upper-right.

A mating pair of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This pair is shown in tandem, perching on my leg (Columbia pants).

15 OCT 2015 | HMP | Autumn Meadowhawk (mating pair, in tandem)

The olive drab color of my Columbia pants (shown above) is less reflective than the khaki-colored pair I wore on the 21st. Net result: more balanced exposure of the subject and background.

Related Resources:

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Meadowhawk Mike

November 30, 2013

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) like Mike! Mike Powell, that is, a.k.a. “Meadowhawk Mike.” The following photos were taken at Huntley Meadows Park on 15 November 2013. Each set of images, or individual image, features a different dragonfly (or dragonflies) perching on Mike at various times during the day. Disclaimer: No dragonflies were either injured or killed in the making of these photos.

Now you see it; now you don’t! A male dragonfly perching on Mike’s shoulder, that is. Or was.

A time-series of images showing a mating pair in tandem. Mating pairs are usually more skittish than this male and female.

Sometimes the same dragonfly — or more than one dragonfly — perched in different places.

Another male, testing a couple of perching places.

A male on Mike’s arm.

This isn’t an optical illusion — a male dragonfly actually is perching on Mike’s blue jeans. Well, actually it is an optical illusion — my eyes cross when I look at these photos too long!

A male dragonfly, with a little help from a friend, endorses an Adidas messenger bag for carrying photo gear.

Another mating pair in tandem, perching on the back of Mike’s sweatshirt.

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in tandem)

By now you may be wondering, what’s the point? (Pun intended. That’s so like Mike, isn’t it?) Point is, Mike is a meadowhawk magnet!

Related Resources:

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

The natives are friendly, redux

November 2, 2013

The following “selfies” show a male Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum vicinum) perching on my shoe during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park.

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (male, perching on my shoe) Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly (male, perching on my shoe)

Hey Nike, how ’bout a little something, you know, for the product placement in my photos?

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

The natives are friendly

October 31, 2013

Most dragonflies are skittish. Some dragonflies are “friendly,” such as Blue Corporal dragonflies (Ladona deplanata). Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) are friendly; sometimes very friendly!

Mike Powell and I visited Huntley Meadows Park recently. We stopped to “charm” dragonflies a couple of times during our photowalk. The following gallery shows two different male Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies perching on Mike: Photos 1-2 show Mike coaxing a dragonfly onto his finger; Photos 3-4 show another dragonfly perching on Mike’s arm.

Tech Tip: Either mouse-over or tap photos to see captions.

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

I feel so violated!

October 29, 2013

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (Sympetrum vicinum) are friendly. Maybe a little too friendly. Yep, that’s a mating pair (in wheel) perching on my calf in the following photo. Apparently Autumn Meadowhawks think it’s OK to fornicate anywhere!

Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies (mating pair, in wheel)

The mating pair of dragonflies landed on me as I was standing on the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park with Mike Powell, fellow wildlife photographer. Mike had a better viewpoint than me for capturing the fleeting moment. Mike’s excellent close-up photo is featured in his photoblog post, “Dragonflies mating on a calf.”

Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 in a three-part series of photoblog posts related to reproduction of Autumn Meadowhawk dragonflies.

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Blue Corporal dragonflies (males, perching on me)

June 17, 2013

The following gallery shows a few male Blue Corporal dragonflies (Ladona deplanata) perching on me as I was standing on the earthen dam at Hidden Pond, Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The natives are very friendly!

Tech Tip: Either mouse-over or tap photos to see captions.

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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