Common Green Darner
A male Common Green Darner at Grapevine Lake on September 15, 2010. Large Size
Canon Rebel XSi ~ Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens ~ Manual Focus
These large Common Green Darners are quite numerous right now and they all seem to be mating. You will find them around the edge of a pond or a lake where there is not much wave action. I think this may be peak season for them.
A couple will fly in tandem until they find a place on the surface for the female to ovipost. Single males fly low over the surface looking for the tandem couple. They will fly slow and when they spot a couple they will often hover above. THAT'S when many of the inflight dragonflies are photographed (just like hummingbirds). After hovering a few seconds (sometimes as many as 10 or more seconds) the single male will often dive bomb the couple hoping to break it up so that he can attach to the female and fertilize the eggs.
When they are hovering, it is fairly easy to focus on them using a zoom lens and manual focus. Yesterday i got about 20 shots very similar to this one. My biggest problem was the light. I was having to shoot almost into the sun in many cases.
Explore #258 on September 17, 2010.