Posts Tagged ‘Halloween Pennant dragonfly’

Halloween Pennant (young male)

July 25, 2017

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) was spotted during a photowalk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge (OBNWR), Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male, as indicated by his yellowish-orange coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages.

Both photos in this gallery show the dragonfly perching at the top of Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides). Eastern gamagrass grows to a height of five- to six feet.

Look at the full-size version of the preceding photo. With its jaw open, the head of this pennant reminds me of the skull on a Jolly Roger flag. Argh, matey!

The last photo is my favorite in the set. The clarity, color palette and composition are perfect, he said not too modestly.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Halloween Pennant (terminal appendages)

August 31, 2016

Most experienced odonate hunters would never mistake an orangish-red mature male Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) for a yellow mature female of the same species, right? Maybe, maybe not. Color is quite variable, depending upon gender, age, and natural variation. Usually it’s better to use terminal appendages to identify gender rather than color.

Female

The following Halloween Pennant was spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female, as indicated by her terminal appendages. Female dragonflies have a pair of cerci (superior appendages) that have little or no function.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (female)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Immature male

The next Halloween Pennant dragonfly was spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature male, as indicated by his yellowish coloration and terminal appendages.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (immature male)

(See a full-size version of the original photo, without annotation.)

Male dragonflies have three terminal appendages, collectively called “claspers,” that are used to grab and hold female dragonflies during mating: an upper pair of cerci (“superior appendages”); and a lower unpaired epiproct (“inferior appendage”).

Female (displaying unusual coloration)

The last Halloween Pennant was spotted near the Pollinator Garden at Meadowood Recreation Area. This individual is a female, as indicated by her terminal appendages. Notice this specimen has orangish-red coloration similar to a mature male of the same species, including magenta pterostigmata.

Related Resources: Digital Dragonflies, presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | female | top view
  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | female | side view
  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | male | top view
  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | male | side view

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (mature male)

July 26, 2016

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) was spotted during a photowalk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male, as indicated by his orangish-red coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (mature male)

The dragonfly is shown perching at the top of Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) in all of the photos in this gallery.

The next photo is my favorite in this set.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (mature male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (mature male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (mature male)

I love a good head-tilt!

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (mature male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a mature male.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (mature male)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More young male Halloween Pennants

July 24, 2016

More young male Halloween Pennant dragonflies (Celithemis eponina) were spotted on 06 July 2016 during a follow-up photowalk at Meadowood Recreation Area (MRA).

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

The last photo is my favorite in this set. Which photo is your favorite?

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

06 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

More Odonart

July 22, 2016

Halloween Pennant dragonflies (Celithemis eponina) — like this female spotted at Huntley Meadows Park — are very photogenic!

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

The next two photos are among my favorites in this set.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

The following photo is my most favorite. Please look at the full-size version of this photo — the breathtakingly beautiful dragonfly seems to be luminous!

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

15 JUL 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Halloween Pennant (female)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Odonart

July 20, 2016

Last year I coined the term “Odonart” and created an “Odonart Portfolio.” Odonart is a concatenation of two words: odonate (dragonflies and damselflies); and art.

During a recent photowalk at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge (OBNWR), I shot several photos of two female Halloween Pennant dragonflies (Celithemis eponina) that I think are worthy of my portfolio.

The first photo is one of my favorites in this set.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (female)

Halloween Pennants prefer to perch at the top of tall vegetation such as the Eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides) shown in all of the photos. Eastern gamagrass is a grass that grows five- to six feet in height — a perfect perch for isolating the pennants against a deep blue sky!

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (female)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (female)

The last two photos are among my favorites in this gallery.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (female)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Prince William County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female.

11 JUL 2016 | OBNWR | Halloween Pennant (female)

Editor’s Note: Sincere thanks to Daffny Pitchford, Refuge Manager, Potomac River NWRC, for identifying the Eastern gamagrass shown in all of the photos in this gallery.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (young male)

July 16, 2016

Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) was spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area (MRA). This individual is a young male, as indicated by its coloration, hamules, and terminal appendages.

The coloration of immature male Halloween Pennants is similar to females of the same species: as males mature, their coloration (including the pterostigmata) darkens slowly to orange-red; this “young male” is at a stage between female- and male coloration.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a young male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (young male)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

They’re back!

July 6, 2016

Halloween Pennant dragonflies (Celithemis eponina), that is, and I was delighted to see them.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (immature male)

Several Halloween Pennants were spotted during a photowalk at Meadowood Recreation Area. This individual is an immature male, as indicated by his coloration and terminal appendages. The coloration of immature male Halloween Pennants is similar to females of the same species; as a mature male, his coloration (including the pterostigmata) will darken to orange-red.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted at Meadowood Recreation Area, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is an immature male.

02 JUL 2016 | MRA | Halloween Pennant (immature male)

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Ethical or unethical?

September 22, 2015

To Photoshop, or not to Photoshop, that is the question. Both the question and the answer aren’t as simple they may seem at face value. In essence, the question asks whether it’s acceptable to manipulate a photo in any way. I think every answer is a matter of personal opinion based upon individual ethical standards. More about that at the end of this post. For now, let’s look a specific case.

A recent blog post entitled Unusual viewpoints featured two photos of a female Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted in a field located near Dogue Creek at Huntley Meadows Park. Before I published the post, I considered using Photoshop to remove some distracting elements in one of the photos; I decided to publish the photo “as is.”

BEFORE

The cluster of grasses in the lower-right corner of the photograph reminds me of exploding fireworks. Go figure! Point being, I think the grass cluster detracts from the photograph more than it contributes. The more I looked at the photo, the more I knew the distracting elements had to go.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted near Dogue Creek, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female with a mild infestation of black water mites.

Aspect Ratio: Original Aspect Ratio (4 x 3)

AFTER

So I did what needed to be done: the distracting elements were removed; the image was reformatted to a 2 x 3 aspect ratio, a better fit for the Photoshopped version of the photo.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted near Dogue Creek, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female with a mild infestation of black water mites.

Aspect Ratio: 2 x 3 (4 x 6)

I know which version I like better. Which one do you prefer, Before or After? Before choosing a favorite, I recommend viewing the full-size version of each photo.

Ethical Considerations

Back to the ethical question posed at the beginning of this post. Here’s how I rationalize removing the distracting elements. When shooting photos in the field, who among us hasn’t either moved or removed a blade of grass, etc. for better composition? If I had three arms and thought I could have moved the grass cluster without spooking the dragonfly, then I would have done it. Essentially that’s all I did, only I did it during post-processing. And more importantly, I did nothing to alter the dragonfly itself.

Is it OK to straighten and crop a photo? Is it OK to adjust white balance, exposure, color, contrast, etc.? Is it OK to reduce noise and sharpen images? Most photographers would answer “Yes, yes, yes!” In my opinion, Photoshop is just another tool in a photographer’s toolbox, albeit one used best with some restraint.

In the interest of full disclosure, whenever “Photoshop” is listed among the categories for one of my photoblog posts, then the reader knows Photoshop is one of the tools used during the creative process.

Related Resource: Odonart Portfolio.

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Unusual viewpoints

September 16, 2015

A single Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) was spotted in a field located near Dogue CreekHuntley Meadows Park (HMP). This individual is a female, as indicated by its coloration and terminal appendages; no males were spotted during the photowalk.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted near Dogue Creek, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female with a mild infestation of black water mites.

10 JUL 2015 | HMP | Halloween Pennant (female)

The photos in this set were taken on a very windy day. The wind was blowing so hard the dragonfly struggled to hold onto her perch, as shown in the next photo when the pennant was almost flipped upside-down.

Notice the dragonfly has a mild infestation of parasitic black water mites.

A Halloween Pennant dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) spotted near Dogue Creek, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a female with a mild infestation of black water mites.

10 JUL 2015 | HMP | Halloween Pennant (female)

(See a full-size version of the preceding photo, without annotation.)

Digital Dragonflies: presenting high-resolution digital scans of living dragonflies.

  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | female | top view
  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | female | side view
  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | male | top view
  • Genus Celithemis | Celithemis eponina | Halloween Pennant | male | side view

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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