Cooper’s Marsh Conservation Area, Lancaster, Ontario, Canada.
August 29, 2010.

Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa)

Thanks to frostwhiteraven for the identification.

I was wandering along one of the trails, trying to keep in the shade (31C or 88F today) and I was admiring all the different dragonflies zooming around. There were the usual tiny gold and red ones and the odd stripy-winged black monsters, but there were also quite a few of these blue/green beauties, too. “It would be nice to get one of these,” I thought. But they never seemed to land anywhere. I spotted one flying under the branches of a nearby sumac, however, and thought it may have landed, maybe not. I cautiously approached the sumac, and, much to my surprise, it had landed! And it was one of those very cooperative dragons, too. Because of the shady location, the shutter speed was a little low and I felt I didn’t have time to play with my iso settings. But this chap didn’t move, so a number of shots were taken.

Many thanks, ye wee beauty!

Sony Alpha 700, Sigma 28 to 300 at 300 mm, circular polarizer
iso 100, spot metered, F6.7, 1/15 second

In love with Ma Nature! Always have been, always will be. Let’s keep her safe, eh?

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  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeabout 4 years ago

  • Much appreciated, Ray.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerabout 4 years ago

    30 August 2010 (one image per day)

  • Debbie Robbins
    Debbie Robbinsabout 4 years ago

    Great capture Mike!!! :))))

  • Many thanks, Cookie!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Lynn  Gibbons
    Lynn Gibbonsabout 4 years ago

    Instant favorite

  • Much appreciated, Lynn, and thanks for the “fave”, too!

    – Mike Oxley

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47about 4 years ago

    At least you didn’t spoil his nap, apparently. Nice when they cooperate; fine shot of this little jewel.

  • Many thanks, Sheila. It made a change from the wee golds and reds zipping about! Although a few shots of them were taken, too.

    – Mike Oxley

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...about 4 years ago

    magnificent capture

  • Greatly appreciated, Kathy! Thanks so very much!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Jonice
    Joniceabout 4 years ago

    Excellent detail and color Mike!

  • Many, many thanks, Jonice! Your kind words are always much appreciated!

    – Mike Oxley

  • Wolf Read
    Wolf Readabout 4 years ago

    A beautiful capture of this odonate. It is always wonderful to find a darner perched, because it is so rare. A common saying among entomologists to deal with dragonflies regularly is that “Darners do not cooperate.” They tend to be fast and never seem to pause. I suspect that the one you found decided to cool off in the shade on a hot day. Thank you much for the reference and link. However, based on the appearance of the darner you captured, I do not think it is a Paddle-tailed Darner. It looks very much like a Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa), but I am not as familiar with Eastern species.

  • Many thanks! I “googled” Shadow Darner and you’re right. But the colouring on the Paddle-tailed is a bit similar. And the name is more fitting with my somewhat corny title! Much appreciated! My Bug Book is sadly lacking – it would seem nearly any insect I come across is not listed.

    – Mike Oxley

  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
    (Tallow) Dave ...about 4 years ago

    very nice Mike. I love trying to get shots of dragonflies. I haven’t been happy with any of my shots yet but will keep trying

  • Much appreciated, Dave. This is the first of the larger d-flies I’ve been able to get. I find the little red and gold ones are very easy to capture. Just needs a little patience. Follow one, watch where it lands. Even if it does take off, there’s a very good chance it will come right back to the same spot or close by.

    – Mike Oxley

  • Tracy Faught
    Tracy Faughtabout 4 years ago

    Ya Baby!! What a gorgeous Dragon!! Well seen and captured my friend!! :O]

  • Many thanks, Tracy, and my apologies for the late reply! It’s one I’m training to behave itself for you should you decide to come on down! :o)

    – Mike Oxley

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