After photographing a number of female Hairy Dragonflies emerge over the past few years, it was a challenge of mine this year to photograph a male emerging and after capturing one last week, I was again in a position a few nights ago when another male decided to emerge on a still mild night from the pond. I initially went out around 9.30pm and saw a nymph already starting to climb up and decided that as it was a nice night, I would have a go at capturing the emergence. After preparing the area, I let the nymph settle down before moving in slowly and set up. Often this stage can take a while as the nymph settles and occasionally thrashes its abdomen around to make sure there is enough clearance to emerge. I have seen them at this stage move so violently that they fall back into the water from a height but on this occasion, thankfully the nymph held on tight. Its this time that the excitement for me kicks in when the final act of transforming from nymph to dragonfly takes place. With the garden in darkness and falling silent, I was treated to another excellent emergence which lasted a couple of hours to complete and another set of photos obtained. As well as taking many photos in between drinks of coffee from the flask, I make sure I always make time to study what is happening and enjoy the natural wonder that is unfolding in front of me. It simply never gets tiring and I hope I get to see and photograph many more emergences from other species. Around 11.30pm, I decided to call it a night and ventured back indoors but was up again early the next morning to take a few more photos before taking the dragonfly to the site where I collected the nymph and released it. While I have taken a number of photos of the emergence of different species, there's something special about seeing a Hairy Dragonfly emerge. A sign to me that the dragonfly season has arrived.
Emerging Hairy Dragonfly (male)
Hairy Dragonfly (male)