Keeping cool, or....

by Bethany Plonski August. 12, 2019 365 views

Obelisk pose

Obelisk pose

I've seen dragonflies perch like this several times before, and I wondered why. So today I did some googling and found out this is a way to keep cool (and the pose itself even has a name).

By lifting their back end up in the air, dragonflies reduce the amount of surface area they are exposing to the sun. And holding their wings out also provides shade for their thorax.

But this is a male blue dasher, so there is one other reason he might be perched like this: to defend his territory. There was another dragonfly buzzing around nearby when I first saw him, so it's hard to say. Either way, I was happy he decided he liked this little branch enough to stay there a while.

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Tsao T-F 1 year, 2 months ago

Good shot and thank you for sharing knowledge "obelisk pose".
I can not recognize the sun location based on these two images.
His tail seems is higher on #1 than that on #2.
So, the sun is also higher on #1?

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you so much! Both photos were in the same spot in the morning, but in a shady area, so there was no  direct sun (but it was a very hot day). If I remember correctly, the brightest light was to the right side of the dragonfly. But he has bright highlights on his eyes - maybe something behind me was reflecting light from that direction?

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

So complex, I will think about it later.confused

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Andi Saw 1 year, 2 months ago

Those turquoise eyes... I LOVE IT. 
Great pictures! blue heart

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Andi Saw 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! I love the color turquoise, so this kind of dragonfly always catches my eye. smile I read that they have thousands of individual lenses in each of their eyes. Amazing!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Don Baird 1 year, 2 months ago

Beautiful, sharp photo

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Don Baird 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! smile Thankfully he was cooperative enough to give me time to change some settings.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Pete 1 year, 2 months ago

Great photos. I Love Dragonflies. Can't wait for the season to start again. You see that pose around midday

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Pete 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! We are right in the peak season for them here, and they are just everywhere. This one was posing in the morning, but we've had really high temps lately, so he must have been trying to stay ahead of the game. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 2 months ago

Since we are both dragonfly chasers it is nice to know why they perch, so thanks for doing the research and teaching me. Shot #1 is excellent!!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you so much! I have still yet to see a red one, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Heidi Egerman 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow! Great images and information.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Heidi Egerman 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Heidi! Nature just keeps on surprising me with all its interesting details. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Ho Kim 1 year, 2 months ago

Dragon flies are amazing creature. I mean their jaws. When I was mere a kid I catch a dragon fly at its tail. It was a serious mistake. It bent its body and bit my finger to give me horrible pain. Ever since I cannot catch the dragon fly. They are scarier than ghost to me. persevere your story about their pose is very interesting. Thank you.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Ho Kim 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh my goodness, how frightening! When I was focusing for this photo, I could see the dragonfly moving his mouth, and that was the first time I ever thought, what does a dragonfly eat? And how? I was curious, so later I looked up some macro photos and was a little terrified of how scary their jaws are! I imagine that was quite a painful bite. Your story will remind me not to risk touching one!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Russell Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Great image series and thank you for teaching me something new.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, I'm really glad to hear that! smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 2 months ago

Amazing images of this little beauty Bethany. The level of detail is impressive

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you so much! Starting to get a better hang of what settings I need for these little speed demons, if they give me the time to actually change them! smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce 1 year, 2 months ago

Firstly, the image clarity brings us into this small world immediately- bravo!  The first image reminds me of the childhood hand trick of when we would place our fingers together and push then ask- what is this?  "spider doing push ups on a mirror"

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you so much! I so enjoy getting into these small worlds. smile What a neat memory to go with it too. Thank you for sharing it!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bill Baird 1 year, 2 months ago

Beautiful !

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bill Baird 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Bill!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Heike 1 year, 2 months ago

Cool pics, Bethany. Puffy the cat likes to catch Dragonflies and always shows me proudly his prey...I wish he wouldn't...but cat is cat... And honestly, sometimes I think they provoke him...They always fly the same route right above him, from left to right, while he is lurcking on the meadow and preparing himself to jump up in the right moment...sometimes with succses...grimacing

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Heike 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh my goodness, that must be something to see! smile Does he eat them? Our kitties just looooove to eat any bug they can find. But dragonflies are so big! It's impressive he can catch them.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Heike Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

I'm not sure whether he eats them. When he brings me his prey, they are mostly near to death, but they are still twitching. I usually try to distract him and than I take the dragonfly and bring it outside...I can't kill it, when it's still alive, although I know it would be more mercyful, but I can't even kill a fly...Maybe he eats them when my door is closed and he can't present them to anybody. Sometimes I find nibbled mouse carcasses on my balcony, but I never found any remnants of dragonflies. grin

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Heike 1 year, 2 months ago

Oh dear, I can't imagine that they are very tasty, but I'm not a cat. grinning And I dread ever being in a position where I have to face the possibility of a mercy killing. It's terrible to watch any creature suffer, but I don't think I could do it either.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Greg Blaney 1 year, 2 months ago

I really like these photos, Bethany - especially the first one. Great detail in the wings and nicely focused! When I try to take photos of these guys, I'm usually not as quick as they are and end up with a picture of a branch with no bug in site.anguished

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Greg Blaney 1 year, 2 months ago

Ah, the dreaded "it was JUST there!" shot! I know those all too well. smile This little guy flew off the branch twice but was kind enough to come back and let me have some second chances. Thank you, Greg!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 2 months ago

Love dragonflies.nice capture

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you so much! I chase after them a lot, so it's nice when a shot finally works out well. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 year, 2 months ago

#1WOW! 
Incredible capture! 
The subject, detail, colors, clarity & bokeh are top shelf! 
Bravo!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Jay Boggess 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you so much! smile I try and fail often with dragonflies, so I was thrilled about that one. Little buggers are quick!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks for your determination! Nice pay-off!grinning

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
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