Damselflies & Dragonflies

Until I was trying to figure out what the mystery dragonfly was on Tuesday, I couldn’t have told you what a damselfly was.  Dragonflies and damselflies are of the same family, but a main difference is that when they’re at rest, a damselfly folds its wings back to line up over its body, whereas a dragonfly’s wings stay straight out like an airplane.  The big helicopter-type dragonflies buzz over the wildflowers behind us.  They fly fast, and they don’t come down to rest anywhere near me.  Out of three fairly long visits with camera in hand, this is the only big dragonfly picture I got, and he was quite a distance away behind flowers and grass (this is a Widow Skimmer):

I wish I could have gotten a better shot.  Isn’t he gorgeous?  I did get some shots of damselflies.  You’ve seen them before.  They are the tiny little guys you often see near water.  They’re about as big around as a needle, and they stay close to the water or the ground.  They like to grab a piece of grass.  This is a common blue damselfly:

They are quite amazing to see enlarged like this.  Their heads look robotic.  And a little challenging to focus on something smaller than a blade of grass!  Fortunately these blue ones were pretty plentiful.

I wonder if this one is a female?  I almost couldn’t see it because its body is pretty clear, but the body is a light shade of blue:

I was excited to see this one with an orange body, but couldn’t get him in sharp focus before he disappeared on me:

You just never know what you’ll see when you talk a walk to see the flowers!


2 thoughts on “Damselflies & Dragonflies”

  1. we have lots of those orange ones around here. they like to buzz over the weater and take a drink. pretty risky drink, as i have seen the fish and turtles come up and snap them down for a quick meal.

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