Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

The Halloween Pennant Dragonfly (Celithemis eponina) is a year ‘round resident of South Florida. In northern climes along the east coast of North America you’ll see these mostly June through August. I have noticed them often in wetland areas and in my own backyard. They can withstand strong winds and tilt back and forth while gripping the tips of branches or twigs very much like a pennant tethered to a pole. The Halloween portion of its common name seems fitting for the yellow wings with the distinctive black banding. It is a most attractive species and enjoyable to observe going about its delicate touch and go’s from one branch to another.

While I have taken pictures of this species before, I’ve generally been a little too distant for any detail. Recently, I have been experimenting with my 100mm macro lens on coins and other static things. Outdoors has been a bit too bright looking through the viewfinder with my new IOLs from my March cataract surgery. But, finally I am out getting used to those internal lenses as well as the new macro lens. Wandering in my yard, I spotted the colorful dragonfly trying to land on the twigs of a tree was has long since dried up in my side yard. The skeletal remains have just been left in place until replanting something for the spot. But, it was a good area to follow the winged creature with my lens. Can’t say I got close enough to qualify for a ‘macro’ picture but the lens is fast and gives very good detail even handheld and trying to creep up on such a trembling, fluttery subject.

So it is good be back out with the camera and also working with the computer again on images. I gave the image a just a little texture instead of the flat sky as it seemed to bring out the dragonfly nicely. Or maybe I just wanted to mess around with my digital tools again!!


~ by Judy on June 15, 2016.

24 Responses to “Halloween Pennant Dragonfly”

  1. Interesting dragonfly. And so good to have you back on board. 🙂

    • Thanks!! I don’t have my home computer set up again yet…soon though….excited to have it updated and with plenty of room for Photoshop!! So, I used my work computer to play with the dragonfly. Dragonflies are always interesting as they seem to exhibit both delicacy and a powerful presence.

      • I remember being astounded by the loud clatter of dragonflies over a shallow brook. I’d never seen the species before: clear wings displaying huge black dots. I remember looking them up when I returned home; but I don’t remember now what species they were. I’d never seen them before, always the more colourful and yet less spectacular. The noise was incredible.

      • The only time I remember being caught in a horde of dragonflies was the evening we stood waiting for sundown on the West Coast at St Mark’s Lighthouse. It was very marshy and wet. They were HUGE!! I was surprised that I had photos without black blurry things all over the place.

  2. Judy good to see you are out and about. I adore dragonflies and this one has such dynamic colours the detail is amazing. Must be fun to play with those digital tools once more.

    • Me too. I have always loved looking at dragonflies. The wings are so evocative somehow. I used a zoological drawing of a Mermelion on the back of some greeting cards as it had that feel as well. I’ve tried to take pictures of dragonflies many times, and some are ok. But, just not detailed or close enough. My new lens might change that. We have all colors and I love the blue ones I see in the wetlands. Will have to concentrate in order to do insects well; I’ve seen some great stuff out there.

      Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I have your drawing of the ostrich in a little stand and look at it often. In fact, I had a fun time with my mother showing her all your stuff. And, as I did we spotted your source photograph, at the zoo I think, for that drawing. It was fun. Mom has dementia but she’s an artist and thoroughly enjoyed your work.

      • Sorry to hear about your Mum Judy but glad you had a nice time showing her the art. i have closed my etsy shop for now as Im concentrating on local markets. My husband loves the small creatures to photograph and we have been given a new camera by his brother but we need to learn how to get the best out of it and so soon we are going to head to the bird aviary. Have a wonderful day your cards are so beautiful.

  3. I’m happy to hear you’re doing better, Judy. Beautiful photo!

    • I appreciate the well wishes and look forward to many projects. Gosh, if I can just finish up with what I already have in the way of images!! I’d like to add a couple of birds to the black and white portrait series, and get on to some color portraits too. I have to differentiate between the images I see as something you might want to hang and something which is more educational or documentary.

  4. Glad you are back to share your photos and experience again. This one is a stunner!

  5. I’m glad your cataract surgery was a success (my right eye is starting to form cataracts, but am dosing up on vitamin C every day to stop it from getting worse — it seems the eye is the only organ is the body that stores vitC as it obviously needs it! Learned that only by researching since receiving that news). Your 100mm lens and processing have produced a wonderful image of the dragonfly — so striking!

    • I thank you for the comment and glad you liked the dragonfly. If you get to the point of having to remove the cataract lens and choosing which IOLs, just ask and I can give you my experience with multi-focals. It helps to know some things in deciding which to go with. I say this just because I personally don’t recommend multi-focals for everyone. I am happy to give layperson/patient type input if desired. Meanwhile good to do the natural things.

  6. Please keep playing with your tools! 🙂

  7. Beautiful detail Judy.

  8. Life is straightening out at last, and I’m doing my own catching up. I’m so glad to see your post, and a stunner it is.

    First, I like the background. I think you’re exactly right that it adds interest to an already interesting creature. I am curious — you mentioned you used a 100 mm lens for this one. I take it that’s a macro lens — how did you manage to get so close to the dragonfly? You must be the dragonfly whisperer! I did manage to get one or two good photos of them on my recent trip, but it wasn’t my stealth or my skill. They just were ready to hang out for a while.

    What amazes me is how many species there are. You would think it would be easy to identify a pure blue Texas dragonfly, but I haven’t found a match yet. I need to stop with the dilly-dallying and just join BugGuide, so I can submit photos for IDs. I know people constantly use Facebook groups and etc. for ID purposes, but I’ve been reluctant. I think maybe it’s my inner midwesterner coming out — you don’t want to bother people, after all!

    I wish I could transport you to work with me right now. Every day I’m surrounded by swarms of damselflies. You would have plenty of fluttery things to practice with!

    • I was further from the dragonfly than it looks as I cropped off a lot of empty blue space. The 100mm Macro allows me to get closer to my subject than any other lens I have and have it focus on the subject. But, the 100mm can be used as a wonderful portrait lens or any other 100mm application. In fact last week I stopped in a the rookery for the first time this year…missed nesting season mostly. I only had the 100mm on me but decided to stop on my way back from my parent’s house anyway and see what was up and try it out there. I’ll post some images from that day as there were many fledgling aged wood storks in good view. I just have to look at what I have and use the office computer since my home one won’t be back until July 9th!!

      I agree on the many species of dragonflies even though some you see way more often than others. I had to look the name of this one up as I have seen but didn’t know its name.

      I will say my camera does produce big files so if I crop I still have good detail and file size…so that is an advantage when you want to show detail and you really weren’t right on top of the creature.

  9. Welcome back! I’m so glad you’re healing well from your surgery…. As evidenced from this absolutely gorgeous portrait! What a beauty. I know catching dragonflies can be tricky. 🙂 I was just trying to nab a few, and I found myself shaking at trying to stand so still, between the wind and their natural movements! This is just gorgeous.

    • Yeah the IOLs are still giving me fits in certain ways. You wanna know the pitfalls of multi-focals…I am your girl. But, I am trying to work through the side effects for the time being!!

      This dragonfly did station itself atop that twig for awhile…constantly moving. It was a little bit above me and I just kept creeping closer and closer and trying to hold stable shots. And, I was pretty close….yard maybe, but it is still a 100mm lens and hence the crop. Gave me good detail though.

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