Sunday, July 10, 2005

Digiscoping Dragonflies


(click on image for larger version)

Speaking of dragonflies, they are sometimes considered one of nature's most neglected beauties. When I'm out bird digiscoping and happen upon a perched dragonfly, I seldom pass up the opportunity to capture an image of it. I don't usually share the dragonfly images, but I thought I would at least let my blog readers know that digiscoping is an excellent way of photographing them. This dragonfly above is called a Halloween Pennant.

Back in the days of my SLR, I used a macro lens, but I would have to get within a foot in order to capture dragonflies in detail. Early in the morning when dragonflies are still inactive, this is much easier. However, digiscoping allows me to be as far as 30 feet away and record great detail. Here's a Widow Skimmer I recently digiscoped at Pheasant Branch Conservancy:


(click on image for larger version)

Like birds and some butterflies, dragonflies also migrate, but very little is understood about it. For current discussion, there is an on-line listserv on Odonata. Also, I like to keep a copy of Karl Legler's "Dragonflies of Wisconsin" field guide in my backpack just in case I happen upon a species I can't identify on sight. Though it may never replace birding, watching and/or digiscoping dragonflies will help round out the naturalist in you. All the equipment you own for birding can be used for studying these colorful insects!

Quote of the day: "Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain." - Henry David Thoreau

All images © 2005 Michael Allen McDowell

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