Nature is a celebration of diversity, and this past week I found myself enjoying the diversity within a particular order of insects known as Odonates. Within odonates are dragonflies and damselflies. This time of year there are more than a hundred species that can be found hovering, flying, and perching around ponds and other wet areas in the northeastern United States, including where I live in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Here are a couple of my favorite finds from this past week:
This damselfly who goes by the name Slender Spreadwings was perched among tall grasses near the pond at Roundtop Park. It remained perched much of the time, but would make short flights low through the grasses to catch small flying insects passing by. I found the elegant wing and body structure and those aqua-blue eyes totally captivating!
This dragonfly who goes by the name Prince Baskettail was my most challenging photo subject. I watched it along the shores of Mt. Pisgah State Park for 30 minutes and it never landed during that time. It flew high and fast making quick turns to catch flying insects. Only when it would occasionally fly closer to the ground was I able to get some decent photos of it. I took a hundred pictures of this dragonfly in flight, and only three came out good. Here is one of them.
Whether you're out observing dragonflies, butterflies, birds, trees, fungi, something else, or some combination, I hope that you're able to take some time to appreciate nature's celebration of diversity too.