Nature's Place

Dragon’s Return – Red Lace Queen


They didn’t really go away, but they have been showing up more again on my walks recently. One in particular has been sitting still for me, if you could call it that in a swirling and gusting breeze. Down by the water, out in the bush, on an old dead tree branch sticking in the ground, a red beauty has been perching.

The first day it took a few minutes before she was comfortable with me having slowly edged up close and standing there next to her. Two feet away, close enough to get some good shots. It is the habit of the dragonfly to flit from the perch to chase down prey, anything small enough to eat, usually that also flies. She came and went for hours it seemed.

It is also the habit of the dragons to chase each other, and sometimes eat each other, as I have seen on occasion. Every time she came back it was face into the wind, naturally, to land. Then she would reorient herself so she was facing me, the best she could, the wind was strong at times. However the wind was blowing I remained on the sunny side, more or less.

When I moved left or right to get an angle shot, or more of her in the light she would move so she was facing me. So I got a lot of head-on shots. Eventually she gave up this con-frontational behaviour and went about her business as usual, with me now to be accounted for in her terrain, naturally.


A few days later I went walking there again and saw her perched on the same stick from ten metres down the track and as I approached she turned to me. We said hello, I did anyway. It didn’t take much time at all for her to become accustomed to me this time, a matter of seconds. She recognised me and knew no danger in the event.

Then she was off, chasing this and that on the wind. Returning to perch in front of me and facing into me again. I played this game with her for a while, dodging to the left and right to get the shot, and it worked out.

I met a beautiful creature and she met me, in silence, a rare exchange, and it resonates in me still.

Dark queen, wild red wind.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

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8 Responses

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  1. Lauri said, on 26/03/2009 at 7:28 am

    Thanks; in this landscape of ice and snow your pictures are a delight! And good night!

  2. ForestWander Nature Photography said, on 26/03/2009 at 6:10 am

    Amazing dragon fly macro.

    The bokeh is perfect.

    I would be interested in what type of lens and the settings.

    Nice work!

    • Mark said, on 26/03/2009 at 12:16 pm

      She is a beauty, the camera is a Panasonic FZ50 with either the Oly MCON40 or the Raynox 150 (achromats) attached on that day. Settings: it was bright and sun was high and the wind was blowing, S piority 1/320″ EC -1.33, A f/5.6

  3. planetcity1 said, on 26/03/2009 at 2:24 am

    Sorry, I forgot to check where you hailed from before I made my comment.

    I was referring to northern U.S. states like Ohio in my post, but it’s good to know that Aussies also use the more lyrical name.

    • Mark said, on 26/03/2009 at 12:06 pm

      No problem PC1, whatever happens in Aus has usually already happened in the North.

  4. planetcity1 said, on 26/03/2009 at 12:14 am

    Thanks for a wonderful start to my day.

    p.s. — Here in the south (FL), dragonflies are referred to as mosquito hawks. In this case, I like the northern moniker better.

    • Mark said, on 26/03/2009 at 12:22 am

      A pleasure. Hawks – I suppose because they hunt mosquitoes as they rise at dusk. Northern? I suppose so. I’m in Aus.

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