One more June excursion…

© - Common Whitetail Dragonfly

© - Common Whitetail Dragonfly

As I promised myself, I got one additional photo shoot in before the new academic quarter starts on Monday.  I had been looking forward to going to the Cox Arboretum to see their butterfly exhibit, and I was not disappointed.  It is a very nice display, though not quite as large or varied in species as other places I’ve shot before (such as the Butterfly Haus at Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, Texas or River Bend Nature Center in Wichita Falls, Texas).  A plus is that all of the butterflies in the exhibit are native species and I expect that as the summer goes on the display will continue to improve.

So why is there a dragonfly image leading the blog post?  Because I arrived at the arboretum at 10am and the butterfly exhibit didn’t open until noon.  So I walked out to where there is a bird blind and a pond in the back end of the park.  And while there were no birds back there, there were plenty of dragonflies.  Many dragonflies I’d never seen in person.  And of those, I was able to make images of many of them, to include this Common Whitetail (Libellula lydia).  Getting the exposure right on this dragonfly was very difficult because the tail is so white, yet the wings have the large patches of black.  If I could have done an HDR image of this dragonfly, I would have.  But this particular species of dragonfly has significant flex in their abdomen during respiration, so I couldn’t have gotten three images to line up if my life depended on it.

Along with the Common Whitetail, I also added a Common Green Darner to my portfolio list and a couple of damselflies that I will have to identify in the coming days.

So fast forward back to the butterfly exhibit.  After shooting in there for about twenty minutes, the heat, humidity, and the unique sting in the eyes that comes from sweat that has traversed through sunscreen, it was time to call it a day and move on.  Great day of shooting and expect to see a couple of these images as prints in the weeks to come.

~ by Jim Miller on Sunday, 27 June 2010.

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