Yesterday spotted two pairs of Common Darter Dragonflies joined head to tail spending a lot of time over the garden pond. I tried for a while to get a photo of them in flight but my ability to adjust the manual focus fast enough defeated me. I did manage a few fuzzy photos of which this is the best.
After a while they moved on to try somewhere else. Later I noticed a lone female spending some time around the pond and had more luck in snapping this one as she flitted about.
Eventually she settled and spent quite a while in the same spot, occasionally flying up and returning to the same resting place.
One thing I was hoping to record was the unusual way the wings of the dragonfly are designed. At first glance they appear to be flat but if you get the chance to look very closely ridges can be seen. The wings actually have a corrugated or pleated effect.
It can be seen if you study the left front wing shown above.
I would never have spotted this if it hadn't been for a post on Kelly's excellent blog - Red and the Peanut. You can see the post here - "The Stylish Pleats on a Dragonfly's Wings ....". Kelly did some research and recently it has been found that the folds in the wings create circulating currents of air which reduces the drag on the wing. This design appears to be unique to Dragonflies. Once again Nature has the edge on us mere humans in designing an efficient wing.
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