Friday, June 15, 2012


Powdered Dancer, female

Ebony Jewelwing, American Rubyspot, Blue-Fronted Dancer, Rainbow Bluet, Citrine Forktail, Southern Spreadwing…even if you knew nothing else about these delicate, slender-bodied cousins of the dragonfly, you'd have to love damselflies for their poetic names alone. Of course, they're also wonderfully colored and breathtakingly lovely, winged treasures sufficient to brighten any day by lifting you heart with delight.  

Blue-Fronted Dancer, female

Powdered Dancer, female

For the past couple of days, during odd moments between various work projects, I've been taking short breaks to try and capture images of a few of the dozen or more species zipping and darting around the yard. No easy task, frankly—at least not in such an off-the-cuff manner.

Blue-Tipped Dancer, female (?)
Powdered Dancer, female

Damselflies have excellent eyesight. Astonishing, really—far better than most animals or humans, with superior acuity, capable of seeing in nearly every direction simultaneously, and including layers of color and ultraviolet undetectable to people. That—along with the ability to fly at blazing speeds, forwards, backwards, sideways, to hover, or shift directions in a flash—is what makes them such awesome and efficient aerial predators.

Blue-Tipped Dancer, male
Blue-Ringed Dancer, female (?)
Powdered Dancer, female

The unfortunate part from the photographer's perspective is that some damselflies are quite skittish, easily spooked and impossible to sneak up on—which can be both daunting and frustrating enough if you have hours to spend stalking your quarry, but when you're just taking a brief interlude between work sessions, so hopeless it borders on the absurd. In spite of which, I've managed a few reasonable images of a few tolerant individuals. And I'm still trying. But so far, the majority of available damselfly species have eluded my lens. Which is still fun, albeit in a crazy sorta way.  

Familiar Bluet, male
Blue-Fronted Dancer, male
Blue-Fronted Dancer, female
Powdered-Dancer, female

Note: My damselfly identification skills are, at best, shaky. If you see I've made a mistake, please feel free to set me straight. I can use all the help I can get.


Carolyn H said...

I love the first photo, simply because it's blue on blue!

Rubye Jack said...

These are such magnificent photos! We used to call these guys Snake Doctors when we were kids.

Grizz………… said...

Carolyn H…

Hey, sounds like a good enough reason to me. ;~)

I ran it first because it was, in my prejudiced opinion, the "prettiest," but couldn't justify that notion whatsoever.

Grizz………… said...

Rubye Jack…

Thank you. I think, as kids, we used that term Snake Doctor more for dragonflies…though to be honest, I'm not sure we even noticed the difference. I don't remember either, dragonflies or damselflies, as being common around the house; here, they're everywhere.

P.S. Wait til you see some of the dragonfly images I made a several days ago. Now some of those really are as nice as anything I've shot in a while…at least I think so. I'll put them up one of these days when I've collected a few more.

sage said...

Wonderful photos.

Grizz………… said...


Thank you. They're just fun to try and stalk…spooky, quick, but so colorful. I think they feel sorry for me and let me get a shot every so often.