Sunday, May 23, 2010

(Day 143) Of dragons, and flying

There are many pluses to having a couple of small ponds near the house. They attract birds, frogs, and snakes and create a little habitat where the daily cycle of nature can be observed. However, they are also a breeding ground for prolific insects, or as we call them (scientifically) 'BUGS'! Thank goodness that swallows and purple martins have a great appetite for bugs, and we're glad that they've chosen to take up residence near the ponds. But we're especially glad that those voracious bug eaters - dragonflies - come here in abundance to keep the bug population down, otherwise we'd be forced indoors. Here are a couple that stopped long enough for me to capture them this evening.

(70-200mm  f5.6  1/60 sec  ISO200)
















(70-200mm  f5.6  1/400 sec  ISO200)
















While we were away last week, I was mindful of Scott's Sunset Sunday, so I saved a couple of sunset shots for today's post, even though I was provided another subject (above). Hope you enjoy them.

(50mm  f2  1/8 sec  ISO200)
















(18-55mm  f5.6  1/125 sec  ISO100)

30 comments:

Scott said...

Hey Rick, Your dragonflies and your sunsets are awesome. I love the brightly lit cloud from the sky, that is way cool as well as the one with the reflection in the river and all the palms. Beautiful shots! Thanks for joining in.

S. Etole said...

You are getting some great photos ... aren't dragonfly wings phenomenal?!

Katherine said...

Wow these photos are amazing Rick...I love them all! I have a thing for clouds & to look down upon them instead of looking up is fantastic, nothing short of spectacular!!

Photog Ave said...

Shot number one is absolutely fantastic Rick!
I love it!

['รด ] Avery

Rick said...

@Scott - thank you Scott. I kept my camera with me on the flights and was rewarded on the return with a sunset at 35,000 feet! No room for the tripod on the trip for shot #3 but used a pier post to steady the camera.

Rick said...

@S. Etole - thank you Susan. I already had the sunset shots for Scott's Sunset Sunday but wasn't sure of my subject yet for today's shot(s). Walking around the pond with me this evening, my son spotted the first dragonfly - amazing how a subject was provided! And their wings are just incredible.

Rick said...

@Katherine - thanks Katherine. ABC sure paid off on the flights - can't remember the last time I saw a nice sunset from 'on high'! Have a great week.

Rick said...

@Photog Ave - thanks Avery. I would like to have gotten closer to that one but he wouldn't move from the bullrush in the middle of the pond. The one in the 2nd photo almost landed on my head! :)

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Oh Rick how I love Dragonflies. I even got a little book about a story that tells you a thing about Dragonflies...love it. I'll look it up for you.
Your shots are amazing I'm gladd they did wait and hang out for a while so you could take those.
The sunsets are again beautiful. Love the warm colours.

Ik zal naar boven blijven kijken, wat er komt is goed het maakt niet uit wat het is.
Thanx. D.

darlin said...

Holy smokes, now that's some fantastic photos Rick! Either you have one heck of a lens or you are really good at creeping up on your belly for the shots of the dragonflies. :-)

Wonderful sunsets, it appears you were someplace tropical?

Krista said...

You know what Rick? I'm growing convinced that you are made of win. You never miss, as far as I'm concerned. Really great shots!!!

.kat. said...

Rick! These shots are fantastic!
I think it's so neat that you
actually have ponds near your home.
Must be a peaceful serenade of croaks
and chirps in the evening. ;)

imac said...

Natures beauty, Rick these are wonderful shots.

Chad said...

I'm not very good at getting insect shots,they seem to move about the time I push the shutter. Very nice dragonfly shots. The window sunset photo you postted the other day,really liked it.

SKIZO said...

In your honour and in the honour of wall the Photographers, I published an ilustration.

M. Hassan said...

The sunset shot is breath-taking.

Rick said...

@Barefoot from Heaven - thank you Dagmar. There were a few dragonflies buzzing around - I just kept watching them till some of them landed. Thanks for your kind comment Dag.

Pas op dat het niet op je regent. Misschien komt het schip met geld een keer aan :)

Rick said...

@darlin - thanks *blush again* I think it was a bit of both - I saved my refereeing money to buy a 70-200mm f2.8L lens - it's just wonderful. I also crept around the pond watching the dragonflies - one landed in a tree right near my head (2nd shot). Re: sunsets - yes, the 1st is in Florida; the 2nd on the way back.

Rick said...

@Krista - ha ha, thanks. All of you set such high standards out there in bloggerland and that makes me 'stretch' each day.

Rick said...

@.kat. - we built the ponds shortly after we moved in here (a tribute to my father-in-law who had a pond and just loved it!). You're right about the croaks and chirps, but they're anything but peaceful! You need to turn up the volume on the TV if the windows are open ;)

Thanks for dropping by .kat.

Rick said...

@imac - nature does all the work and we just show up on time and press the shutter! Doesn't get much better than that :-)

Thanks mac.

Rick said...

@Chad - I know what you mean Chad; I have that problem with my grandkids - they never sit/stand still long enough to get a shot (I've taken to using burst mode hoping somewhere in there will be a good one - usually is).

Thanks for the compliment - I spotted the sunset in the window just as I thought I was finished making a few sunset shots that evening. Serendipity, for sure.

Rick said...

@SKIZO - thank you; visited your blog and had a look; nice work.

Rick said...

@M. Hassan - thank you M.

Julia said...

Those are impressive dragonfly pictures!!! That's amazing that you can capture something so small!!!

Rick said...

@Julia - thank you Julia!

Karen said...

Beautifully photographed dragonflies. My favorite in this series is second from the last.

Rick said...

@Karen - thank you Karen. I really liked that shot too - right place, right time, God did the 'painting'!

Jeanne Klaver said...

I have a special bond with dragonflies; your photos are beautiful. That last one, the light on the cloud—so amazing!

Rick said...

@Jeanne Klaver - dragonflies are both beautiful and a little 'beastly' at the same time.

I've flown countless times but I've never seen a sunset like this from an airplane window before.

Thanks Jeanne.