Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A pleasant surprise

One part of the hedgerow is currently alive with damselflies all displaying themselves on ferns, Hawthorn and grass stems in a shimmering display of blue, red and green. I love a challenge, so I thought I would try to get 'the definitive image' of a Common Blue Damselfly.

Last night, I was browsing the images and I liked the quality of this one, and I was also pleased with the composition: the Scaly Male Fern makes a lovely platform.
Suddenly my jaw dropped. The markings on the second abdominal segment are quite different from the usual 'wine-glass' marking of the Common Blue, taking the form of an underlined 'U'. A quick glance at the references revealed that this is a male Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puella - another first for me.


Gill said...

Gosh! I'd never have picked that up - well done! And I agree with you, it is a particularly nice pic with that fern platform.

Incidentally this shows just how much better the weather has been on the west - I have yet to see a damsel or dragonfly here in Ryedale (actually that isn't quite true - I got a very brief glimpse of some kind of chaser on Saturday about 25yds away - no hope of an id.

Stuart said...

Well, it shows a couple of things:

1) never assume
2) expect the unexpected
3) naked eye would never have got that. Digital cameras can make a great substitute for a net.

Jenny said...

"Digital cameras can make a great substitute for a net."

And for a hand lens.....I wear glasses so find a lens just about impossible to see through, but with a photo up on screen I come across details I'd have missed otherwise.

Beautiful photo!

Stuart said...

Yes. I've reached the age where my close-up vision isn't as good as it used to be, so I often take a shot then zoom in on it to see what I've actually got. It lets me check quality and also lets me see details my eyes would miss.

Anonymous said...

Makes me think of going and finding some d/flies.
Those neck marking are the way the species find the correct mate.