I’ve always seen dragonflies in the summer, but I’ve never paid much attention to this ancient creature of the order Odonata. That is starting to change.

Blue Dasher?

I came across this specimen while stopping by Bullhead Bay at Lackawanna State Park. Bullhead Bay has always been a favorite place for Brent and me; there are often numerous creatures, large and small, to be found, and the scenery is great as well.

I had seen a number of dragonflies before in the reeds at Bullhead, but I’d never seen one this color before. Doing some photo research on the web, it would appear that he is a Blue Dasher, although it’s possible that he could be an Eastern Pondhawk. Any help anyone can give in making a more positive identification of this specimen would be appreciated. He was very cooperative, lingering in this one spot long enough for me to get zoom in with the 300mm Sigma and get a pretty sharp full-frame image for a handheld shot — with an assist from the Sigma’s OS.

The other Odonata specimen I captured that day is what I believe to be a common whitetail dragonfly. Although the tail looks dark in this shot, the wing pattern matches the common whitetail; perhaps this is a juvenile. Unlike his flashier cousin, this one darted all over the place, keeping me off balance trying to get a decent shot.

Common Whitetail?

Given how much he moved around, perhaps he might be called Dancer? That name would be more fitting to his Dasher reed-mate, in my view.

On to more critter study for me…I need to fly.

Staff Writer Paul Sevensky is a communications specialist and amateur photographer.  When he isn’t shooting, he covers advertising and PR on his own blog, at www.paulsevensky.com. View all of Paul Sevensky’s posts on The Roving Photographer.

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