Monday, November 12, 2012

blue-eyed darner ~ 11/12/12 ~ Frog Pond

This post is for Graeme at Imperfect and tense for our friendly blogging Odonatathon wager across the pond (so to speak) to see who spots the latest in the season for 2012.  As of this date, I have him beat by 1 day.  My last sightings in 2011 were December 10 at Los Padres Dam (sorry, no pictures).  His last sighting in 2011 was November 27 at HESC, although he says someone else saw the same dragon there December 5.

This is also a tester post.  I've never edited or posted a video before.  It took me a while to figure out how to stabilize and trim the above crappy clip in iMovie.  Google's automatic file reduction makes the video play even worse on the blog.  Oh well.  For both the video and heavily cropped picture above, we tried out a spanking new borrowed point-and-shoot Canon (don't know which one) in a search to upgrade from our crappy photo point-and-shoot Minolta.  While I kind of like the larger file sizes to crop, the touch screen focus features of the Canon did not work at all for close-up shots, even in the macro setting.  Our trusty 8-year-old Minolta still seems to do a better job.  So, our search continues.  For now, I will remain green with envy at the patience and gorgeous dragonfly photo captures other people manage to get with seeming ease.

ps - Oooh, interesting.  The video doesn't show up in Reader.  Hmm?


John W. Wall said...

I like that wager. I remember being surprised to find a variegated meadowhawk covered with dew one December morning on Mt. Tam. That was years ago, and I've never found another dew-covered dragon since....

Imperfect and tense said...

Dear Katie, You're a worthy winner and I'm so happy that international dragonfly relations can make the world a smaller and better place. Good use of 'pond' too. Wish I'd thought of that.

Frog is looking lush. I reckon you may have a few more odes yet :o)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks, John, it's been good to have a goal for where to go. Maybe your variegated meadowhawk missed the migration memo that year? I'm guessing you were able to get some beautiful dew-covered pictures.

Graeme, this is fun. I still think you're conceding too early. Maybe if it's sunny Sunday, you'll have some luck? You need to be like our county supervisor candidate who still hasn't conceded the election even though he's 8.6% behind at last count. And, yes, I'm going to pull out Los Padres Dam come December for a final dragon push.

Jim Johnson said...

I'm jealous that you're still seeing dragonflies.

That might be Blue-eyed Darner, but there's no way to tell exactly what it is from the video or the still. It's definitely a darner, of course.

I assume that Shadow (Aeshna umbrosa) and Paddle-tailed (A. palmata) are also possible in your area, and perhaps more likely at such a late date (although, I'm not sure where this was, so maybe those species are not expected).

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hi, Jim. I hope to see other dragons (and damsels!) in the next 3 weeks if last year was any indication. We watched this lone dragon for about 20 minutes. It never landed. On the wing, its body looked predominately blue with thin black striping. Blue-eyed have been documented as late as December here in Monterey County. I ruled out Paddle-tailed and Walker's based on previously recorded sighting locations from Don's site: I think Shadow is found a couple hours inland; plus, it's too dark compared to what I saw. The Frog Pond is in Del Rey Oaks within 2 miles of the Monterey Bay.

ps - I still have that damsel from my own personal frog "pond" in my drafts folder. Thanks for your help, and sorry I haven't posted it yet.