July to me is the time of the dragonflies, damselflies and other waterbound insects. I usually start a summers day of photography with landscapes at some spot in the heathland. Those are the only open areas to be found in my neck of the woods and because of the many fens, chances for misty conditions are rather good. After a hopefully succesful sunrise shoot, I tend to switch my focus towards the insects that inhabit the heather habitat. Enter hundreds to thousands of damselflies. But somehow I hardly ever can find their larger relatives: dragonflies. The internet is flooded with wonderful photographs of all kinds of dragonflies in all kinds of light and vegetation, but they always eluded me. I learned that, other than damselflies, dragonflies tend to spend the night high up in trees, so finding one in the low vegetation is a stroke of luck. But why is it that everyone is struck by that luck, except me? Last week I finally found one, even three. On the edge of a small fen in dense vegetation, there were no less than three Scarlet Darters (Crocothemis erythraea; Vuurlibel) warming up in the sunlight, trying to get rid of the excess moisture on their main assets, the wings. One of them was in an elevated position at the edge of the vegetation, allowing for a clearer shot than the others. And of course, with the curse broken, I now find many more wherever I look. There is a first for everything, they say. More later, when my trusty iMac is back from service and I have access to my recent files again.
Scarlet Darter at Sunrise; Canon 5D mark III w. 150/2.8 macro; 1/2500s at F2.8 and ISO200; handheld