Dragonflies, A Bumble Bee….Oh And A Needlefish!

I spent a couple morning hours two different days in the past month, trying my luck again with the dragonflies hanging around the embankment at the end of Cambridge Creek.


Definitely a challenging subject.  And definitely a tremendous number of dumped files.  🙂


Except for the Blue Dasher, I had to research each of these to ID.  If I incorrectly identified any, please let me know!


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Blue Dasher



_DSC0178-1 8-15-19 widow skimmer

Widow Skimmer



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Painted Skimmer



Needham’s Skimmer



I couldn’t resist this bumble bee buzzing around me….


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Bumble Bee



Common Sanddragon



While shooting the dragonflies, I saw something dart in the water and spotted a Needlefish.  I had seen them before this summer but always missed any shot.  This one made the photo-shoot cut, ha!


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Needlefish (about a foot long)



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Yellow-sided Skimmer



Black Saddlebags Skimmer
(If you’re gonna land in front of me on the sailboat mast, I’m gonna try to capture you!)



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Eastern Pondhawk dining on an unfortunate butterfly


Dragonflies are definitely great practice to improve your photography skills of patience and steadiness.   🙂



45 thoughts on “Dragonflies, A Bumble Bee….Oh And A Needlefish!

  1. Wow Donna, these are beautiful photos! I have to say that the Blue Dasher’s little face reminds me of Mickey Mouse! Weird…

  2. Dragonflies are always a challenge Donna, and you have done very well! I hardly use my macro lens as birds are my major subject. Love the beautiful colors and ornate webbing of the wings. Well captured my friend!

  3. All are excellent shots! I always photograph dragonflies if they are close to the birds, I do the same with butterflies. Thank you, Donna. 🙂

  4. All Fantastic, Donna… especially the bumble bee! THANKS SO MUCH! On Sun, 25 Aug 2019 00:12:27 +0000

  5. Well seen! fantastic shots and some are in such great light. I find these creatures fascinating and am hoping to capture a blue Darner soon. The Bumblebee is a Wow! shot with the reflection in the eyes. I have a basic book on bugs by an expert but it is very simplified so only covers a few species-dare I get a more detailed book? I have never seen a widow skimmer-she is something and I swear the blue Dasher is smiling.

    • Thank you, Jane! I was thrilled with the bumble bee shot, I don’t recall ever getting such a close photo, showing off those cool eyes. I, myself, don’t have any insect books so I use the internet and research bugs common to Maryland. And I truly agree, that Blue Dasher is smiling! 🙂

    • Thank you, Brian! Down the embankment were different large rocks/boulders, I tried to take advantage of their coloring for my backgrounds. I was stoked on how the backgrounds came out! 🙂

  6. Great catches…even the last one with the butterfly. All true reflections of nature in action! John from LasVegasPhotos sent me here to check out your blog! Glad he did!

  7. Very nice photos and I was impressed with the one on the ship mast. I went to park a couple of weeks ago to photograph dragonflies, and flowers, but mainly dragonflies. I’ve been there several time in the past with good results with the dragonflies perched on reeds and cattails along the edge of the lake. Turned out all the vegetation along the waters edge had been cut down to just a few inches above the water so it was impossible to get close enough for good photos with my 105mm macro. I think next time I go anywhere for dragon flies I’ll throw my 80-400mm in the car too (actually I’ll carefully place it on the floor behind the driver’s seat).

    • Thank you, David. Bummer, when you don’t have the right lens. And yes, carefully, no throwing! 😉 The difficult part is lugging our equipment, I like to take two camera bodies and at least two lenses in one bag, so a bit heavy. I’m lucky if my husband is along, he’ll help with the lugging. 🙂

    • Thank you, Belinda! All but one dragonfly was within a 20 feet stretch along the embankment, I was later shocked I found so many species just in that small area. The needlefish was about a foot long. This was my first year ever seeing them, now I’m seeing them a lot. 🙂

  8. Awesome camera work, Donna. These critters aren’t easy to capture! Loved seeing the needlefish – I wonder if they are related to seahorses? Their heads look similar.

    • Thank you, Eliza! I think I’ve found another challenging winged friend to photograph. 🙂 You are right, the needlefish’s head does have a similar resemblance to the seahorse, but they aren’t related. The pipefish looks much more like the seahorse and is related. I distinguished between the two species by the tail (pipefish don’t have a fin tail). And I found out needlefish have very sharp teeth, whoa!

  9. Great shots Donna, and great job identifying them! Last year I took some shots of dragonflies and damselflies, but never took it seriously to identify them🙂

  10. Great post Donna. The vivid complimentary colors in the Widow Skimmer image really spoke to me. And I agree with your comments on subjects like this being good practice. Butterflies and dragonflies are a critical component of the wildlife photography learning curve.

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