Scarlet Skimmer male – Nikon D70, handheld, f5.6, 1/125, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light
Before I became focused primarily on bird photography I spent a lot of my time aiming my point & shoot and DSLR cameras at scenery, bugs, spider, flowers and slow moving reptiles and amphibians. I used to wander a lot with my best friend Patty and we’d go to botanical gardens, state and county parks, wetlands and just about every location where we could find subjects we could photograph in central Florida.
I became especially fond of photographing dragonflies and damselflies because they were plentiful in Florida, colorful, fun to watch and if I was careful I could sneak up slowly on them.
Scarlet Skimmers were one of the dragonfly species I spent time stalking in Florida because I loved the bright red coloration of the males and the golden colors of the females.
Scarlet Skimmers are originally from east to southeast Asia and were introduced to Hawaii, Jamaica and Florida, they were first discovered in 1975 near Miami, Florida and have gradually become more common throughout Florida.
The male Scarlet Skimmer above was photographed at Sawgrass Lake Park, Pinellas County, Florida in July of 2007 near a pond at the park with my first DSLR, the Nikon D70. I recall wishing at the time that the dragonfly had been facing me instead of facing away from me but this dorsal view does show the markings of the wings and abdomen quite well.
Golden Odonata – Female Scarlet Skimmer – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/350, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light
I photographed this female Scarlet Skimmer at Roosevelt Wetland, Pinellas County, Florida in June of 2008 with my second DSLR, the Nikon D200. She was a bit more cooperative than the male above because she faced me and gave me the well known obelisk posture that dragonflies often exhibit which showed the markings on her abdomen nicely.
I still try to photograph dragonflies during the warmer months of the year when I am out looking for birds to photograph because I think they are fascinating subjects plus they eat blood-sucking mosquitoes by the hundreds each day which makes me love them even more.
Life is good.