Dragonfly metamorphosis

I know I’ve posted lots of photos of dragonflies. I was updating the content on my website when I came across the photos below. They started my fascination with dragonflies. 

I was sitting by the pond one day, I’d spotted discarded larva skins on the bulrushes on previous visits. They were a dull brown colour and dried up. 

This day I spotted a  bug like creature emerging from the larva skin. It wasn’t moving and I thought it was dead. I was surprised when I looked again some time later and realised it wasn’t dead and spotted the beginnings of what would eventually be the wings. It was a real privilege to sit over the period of a few hours watching the little white grub I thought was dead grow longer, it’s wings grow and form, transforming into a beautiful dragonfly. It was an amazing transformation I’d never witnessed before.

 

Playing with my Lensbaby Circular Fisheye

We were heading out to Mathon on Saturday morning. I had decided that I had enough dragonfly photos and didn’t need any more. It was supposed to be a sunny morning so I thought I’d have a play with my circular fisheye lens.

We wandered round to the pond and there close to the edge was a dragonfly clinging to the bullrushes with its wings emerging and forming in the sunshine. Despite my resolution that I had enough dragonfly shots I decided I wanted to see if I could get a good shot with the circular fisheye. It was really difficult because the bullrushes were swaying in the wind, and this was made worse by the turbulence generated by the dogs messing about in the pond. 

 

To ensure the dragonfly was a reasonable size in the shots I had to get really, really close, down to less than half an inch in some cases. The focussing was a challenge the best shot is below.

 

Balancing act
By the pond

Splat is rarely still in front of the camera, even when I’m trying to get shots of him, he comes to see what I’m doing, very frustrating. Something distracted him long enough for me to get this shot.

 

 

 

Scarlet Pimpernel

Last year while walking the dogs round Mathon I came across a really pretty little red flower. I was surprised to learn it was a scarlet pimpernel.

I did spot some growing a few weeks back ,but the photos I took weren’t in focus. Since then I’ve been wandering around looking at the ground searching for tiny red flowers. I’d given up as I thought they must be passed.

 

I was really surprised on Sunday to spot some. This time I had my Lensbaby velvet 56 lens which is great for macro shots. The challenge was getting the shots before the dogs trampled all over them.

 

My favourites are shown below.

 

 

 

Green leafhoppers

When I was playing with my Lensbay Twist 60 on Saturday I spotted these tiny grasshoppers jumping around in the grass and other vegetation. They were less than 1cm in length and too small to get a decent picture of with the Twist 60 and macro converters. I couldn’t get close enough.

 

We went back on Sunday. This time I had my Sony 30mm macro lens on my a77. Its a great macro lens, enabling you to get really close. It was more difficult to spot them on Sunday. I could only really see them when they moved, but the heavy rain drops caused many false alarms. Eventually it dried up, the sun came out and do did the leafhoppers.

 

I had to resort to manual focus to get the shots below. Their snouts have evolved to enable them to feed on the sap of herbaceous plants. There is something endearing about them.

 

Dragonflies

I went walking with the dogs in Mathon on Saturday. It made a nice change from Malvern Common, although I did miss meeting the regular dog walkers on the common, they are so friendly.

 

Our walk took us past a pond where I’ve watched dragonflies emerging in the summer sun. The bulrushes are much thicker this year but we found one dragonfly emerging. It fascinating to watch them emerge, grow their wings and take off.

 

The dogs were really excited and didn’t want to stay still. If they weren’t chasing each other round the edge disturbing the tranquillity, they were swimming causing the bull rushes to move in the turbulence created in their wake.

 

I did get some good shots, the best of which are shown below. I was playing with my Lensbaby Edge 50 and Velvet 56 so focussing manually was tricky. The first two shots were taken with the Edge 50 and the last was taken with the Velvet 56.

 

 

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