Keeping cool, or....

by Bethany Plonski August. 12, 2019 205 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.

Join the conversation
There are 23 comments , add yours!
Don Baird 1 day, 18 hours ago

Beautiful, sharp photo

1 day, 18 hours ago Edited
Pete 2 days, 6 hours ago

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

2 days, 6 hours ago Edited
Camellia 2 days, 20 hours 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!!

2 days, 20 hours ago Edited
Heidi Egerman 2 days, 22 hours ago

Wow! Great images and information.

2 days, 22 hours ago Edited
Ho Kim 3 days, 5 hours 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.

3 days, 5 hours ago Edited
Russell Smith 3 days, 11 hours ago

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

3 days, 11 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 3 days, 8 hours ago

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

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Antonio Gil 3 days, 18 hours ago

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

3 days, 18 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 3 days, 8 hours 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

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Buster Bruce 3 days, 20 hours 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"

3 days, 20 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 3 days, 8 hours 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!

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Bill Baird 3 days, 22 hours ago

Beautiful !

3 days, 22 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bill Baird 3 days, 8 hours ago

Thank you, Bill!

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Heike 4 days, 1 hour 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

4 days, 1 hour ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Heike 3 days, 8 hours 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.

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Heike Replied to Bethany Plonski 3 days, 2 hours 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

3 days, 2 hours ago Edited
Greg Blaney 4 days, 3 hours 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

4 days, 3 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Greg Blaney 3 days, 8 hours 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!

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 4 days, 5 hours ago

Love dragonflies.nice capture

4 days, 5 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Berckmans Peter 3 days, 8 hours ago

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

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Jay Boggess 4 days, 6 hours ago

Incredible capture! 
The subject, detail, colors, clarity & bokeh are top shelf! 

4 days, 6 hours ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Jay Boggess 3 days, 8 hours ago

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

3 days, 8 hours ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 day, 6 hours ago

Thanks for your determination! Nice pay-off!grinning

1 day, 6 hours ago Edited