July 29, 2011

If You Build It, They Will Come!

There have been several sightings of the Scarlet Darter dragonfly since the stock tank pond was installed a year ago.  In fact, there was a female laying her eggs in the pond yesterday.  It was fascinating to watch as she repeatedly dipped her tail into the pond water.  The dragonfly larva will feast on mosquito larvae in the pond until it climbs out of the water, sheds its casing and flies off.  I've posted this photograph before but I'm just noticing the cool shadows of its wings on the bamboo.

This is the first I've seen of the Eastern Pondhawk though.  It was gracious enough to stop for a moment and pose.

The morning light glistens on its wing tips as I sneak up behind it to snap a quick photograph.


Through the view finder I see soft, beautiful bokeh created by a shallow depth of field and I'm praying that I catch the dragonfly in focus.  Ah ha!  Success! 

With so much of the garden in distress right now it was a really nice distraction to espy this new dragonfly for a few minutes.  A bit of research revealed that it takes a season or two for different varieties to find your pond.  The installation of the stock tank pond has been one of the most rewarding projects we've done.  Between the birds that drink from it, the goldfish, dragonflies and water lilies, there is fortunately an abundance of distractions to get us through this long, dry summer.

How's your summer going so far?

26 comments:

  1. Beautiful captures Cat. I always seem to scare them away, or they just don't land. I find the dragonflies harder than butterflies to get a photo. You did a great job.

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  2. I've finally found a spot in the garden where I can put a small in-ground pond. I have dragonflies come to the birdbaths but it will be fun to create a more natural habitat for them. Summer is great, just way too hot!!

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  3. Love the lime green colors on the pondhawk. I had one in my garden last year even though I have no pond. He was hanging around the water feature and was generous enough to let me take his photograph.

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  4. Great shots! There are lots of dragon flies around since there are water shed around this township.

    Yesterday I see 3 different types under my willow tree. Unlike Donna, I find dragon flies easier to capture.

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  5. We have just made a small pond this year. Hope I get some of these lovely creatures visiting. Great pics!

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  6. Great shots! I definitely have stock tank pond on my 'some day' list for the garden. It'd be so nice to have dragonflies visit in summer...

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  7. Carolyn @Carolyn's Shade GardensJuly 30, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    After reading all your posts on your stock tank pond, I want one for my garden. I will have to get all the details from you at a later date when I have better computer access. Right now I am wondering if it can be in full sun.

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  8. Hi Cat,
    Dragonflies are the most fascinating and beautiful of creatures. I realized as I read through your post that I don't know a lot about them. (I had no idea that they laid their eggs in water!)
    We have had hot weather and dry conditions for weeks. Finally, on Thursday we got some rain. I hope similar weather relief will head your way shortly. Enjoy your weekend Cat!

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  9. Thanks y'all!!

    Carolyn, yes, it is better if you have full sun - you'll have more plant options...most of the lilies want the sunlight. It was about a year and a half ago that I discovered the stock tank on Pam's blog. My only regret is that I didn't go a bit bigger!

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  10. Incredible shots!!!! I was commenting yesterday that we have started having a lot of dragonflies around. We have a little fish pond- I haven't noticed them over there but will keep an eye out to see if I can see them dip their tail. That would be neat to see.

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  11. You really wanna know? We are suffering over here - but for the total opposite reason. It rained all day yesterday, it rained all day today. It rained all summer long! Even the plant's look like they've had enough. We are drowning! SOS!!!!
    This is the worst summer of my life. 16°C.
    I had bronchitis cause i got rained on so often :( It's like Mother Natur saying: "Look Sandra, enjoy the rain! You won't have any more when you move to Texas!"
    How ironic and sarcastic is that? Sorry about the complaining!
    I love the pictures!!!!! They make me feel better. Dragonflies are definetly something to look forward to!
    Take care, Sandra

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  12. Wow, I saw some really good electric blue dragonflies in Viet Nam, but every time I tried to get a picture I just wasn't fast enough!

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  13. Gosh Cat they are amazing. I tried to have some pictures about them in summer cottage but no luck, they were too quick or me. I saw blue ones, they were really beautiful.

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  14. I forgot, you ask me about week ago what were the flowers in my picture with the book...remember, you guessed maybe parsley but no they are just weeds Aegopodium podagraria..at least almost everybody think they are weeds.

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  15. I love Dragonflys,their form and colors elegant and primative at the same time. In Peru they are called Chinchilejo's, pronounced Chin-Chi-Lay-Ho. A name as exotic as Dragonflys themselves

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  16. Hi Cat,
    Fantastic photo`s of some stunning dragonflies there! The numbers of dragons have been very low so far here in the U.K. and ofcourse, we only have a few species to talk of anyway, both of the ones here are new ones on me!
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  17. It's wonderful that you have attracted these prehistoric looking insects, especially this year as they must be distressed from drought. I'm glad they found your pond!

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  18. Beautiful shots as always Cat. You must be incredibly patient to get such great close ups of the insects.

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  19. Thanks for posting htat it was a shadow on the bamboo - I was looking at it going "wow, what an interesting plant"

    I think we really need to put in a stock tank pond as well...where, i don't know, but I want a pond.

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  20. Super captures! Your photos are amazing with the detail of the wings and the body. Isn't it just a thrill to find a new species?!

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  21. Great photos! We have several different types of dragonflies, but no red ones - yet! I have hope that one day they will come!

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  22. Stunning captures Cat, I stuggle to tame my lens when I am in a hurry to focus on such swift-moving critters. I do love watching them lay their eggs though - and the mating is rather entertaining too!

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  23. Beautiful photographs Cat! I love seeing the creatures in your garden through your eyes.

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  24. I am glad to have the opportunity, through your excellent photographs, to view these lovely creatures at such a close proximity. They are lovely--colorful, interesting, and very beautiful!

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  25. Lovely images, Cat. I so love dragonflies ... funny how almost every boat ride, they join me and often rest on my knee :)

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  26. Cudowne zdjęcia, ale Ci się udalo. Pozdrawiam

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Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
~A.A. Milne

Thanks for taking the time to visit!