My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dazzling dragonflies

I have so many photos to post and so much I want to blog about, and so little time to do it lately. It's crunch time as our closing date draws ever closer, with tons going on at the new house on a daily basis. I'm trying to keep up with photographing it all, and hope to do an update post soon.

But for now... BW and I seriously needed to blow off some steam after a stressful week, so we squeezed in some fun-time this weekend. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous - 78ยบ and sunny with a lovely breeze ~ so we went on a walk with the dogs and a quick bike ride, and then headed to an annual arts festival (didn't spend much time there, but did find a wee treasure for the new house). Today it was back up in the 90s where it's supposed to remain all week, so early this morning while it was still cool enough to need jackets we took the dogs and drove to the ranch where we board Mocha. We'd planned to visit him, but he'd just been moved to a new pasture with his buddies Prairie and Blaze, and we couldn't find them or anyone around who knew which pasture on the big ranch they'd been moved to. So instead we went on a wonderful hike with the dogs on a different part of the same ranch, which is where I took these photos (and more that I'll post as I'm able!)
Several dragonflies followed us on our hike, and I missed some great shots as they'd dart away just as my camera was focusing (curses!) But I finally got a few good ones of two different dragonflies. I almost didn't get this first pair of pictures, as my camera wanted to focus on the background instead of on the dragonfly no matter what I did. Thankfully, the dragonfly was content to just sit there and wait, and finally my camera focused on him but blurred the living daylights out of the background! This is the unedited photo...

And this is the same photo after I had a little fun with it in PhotoBucket's editing room (still had some steam to blow off, obviously!)....

A second unedited photo of the patient dragonfly...

And more creative therapy with the editing tools...

And here's my favorite shot of the day, as I was thrilled to get this photo of a big, beautiful dragonfly perched on some sage. Here's the unedited photo...

And my radiantly divine version :-) ...

Got a favorite of the bunch? I'd love to hear it!


  1. I love them all. Aren't dragonflies simply magical? Perhaps it is the name. I have a huge weakness for anything dragon related.

  2. Great dragonfly shots -- one of my favorite insects -- now let me think -- they are considered insects? -- barbara

  3. Its a fun challenge to try and photograph dragonflies! I like the last photo in its unedited version. Good capture!

  4. Oh how gorgeous! And that's a great use of depth of field to get the background out of focus like that (that's why I like my 50mm lens so much). I just love that lost shot and how you edited it... magical...

  5. Almost forgot - just love that other shot with the sparkles and rain(?)... beautiful image.

  6. I'm so jealous! They hardly ever land here, for some reason....

    I love the one of the dragonfly on the sage. So, so pretty!

  7. Ellie C ~ Yes, they sure are! And I remember your love of dragons from back when I did the Here There Be Dragons post. Did you ever treat yourself to a copy of Dragonology? I think you deserve a treat like that! (You'd love it!)

    Barbara (KY) ~ Thanks! One of mine, too. I can't remember if they're considered insects ~ I'll have to look that up!

    Jeannelle ~ Thanks for sharing your favorite! I was really excited when I got that one, especially when I got home and saw it on the computer. It is a fun challenge to photograph them, but they teased me during almost the entire hike before allowing me to get these photos!

    Barbara (UK) ~ Thank you! My camera can be very temperamental with its depth of field focus when I'm trying to get a closeup. Sometimes it does great, but it was being a real bugger on this hike!

    Your two favorites are also mine (and yes, that's a rain effect along with the sparkles!) We're definitely in psychic sync these days ("mean alpha girl" LOL!)

    Molly ~ They do tend to flit a great deal, don't they? Probably flit more where there are more mosquitos to catch (like where you live) than out here. The first dragonflies - the ones I wasn't able to photograph in time - never landed, but one of them hovered right in front of me for several seconds, against a cobalt blue sky. Would have been a gorgeous photo! But I didn't have my camera on, and by the time I unholstered it and it got warmed up and I pointed it at the dragonfly, he'd grown bored with waiting for my tiresome human self and zoomed off. I was bereft! Till I got the one of the dragonfly on the sage, which I love and which helped ease my pain. :-)

  8. Normally your ABC wednesday posts start with a ABC wednesday header. This one didn't but I'm thinking this post was for "D-Day".

    Or maybe not since this was posted on Sunday but I think Dazzling Dragonflies would have fit the bill so you must have another D idea up your sleeve.

    I'm sorry that you missed Mocha once again but I'm glad at least BW has been seeing him and knows he's well.

    I have to pick two favorite photos as I think the edited and unedited should be in separate categories. I'm the judge so I get to say! :-)

    My favorite unedited version is the next to last phots. The fact that you got it at that angle is just amazing. The detail on it and the sage is amazing and I just think it's wonderful.

    Before I select my favorite edited photo, I want to say that I think it's amazing that you can manipulate only the background and keep all that detail on the foreground. That's cool software.

    My favorite edited one is the second photo. It looks like something right out of a Tim Burton movie! It's got the right amount of atmosphere to match the critter and the stick it's on.

    The fifth photo with the glitter is a close second!

  9. Jo ~ My ABC Wednesday post are always posted on Wednesdays and always have that header (and the ABC Wednesday badge, for that's the rule!) So while this would have been perfect for "D Day" this week, your second guess is the right one. I have more D's up my sleeve for tomorrow! ;-) But you'll get to see your favorite unedited dragonfly again then. (I've had the post in the hopper since last week, but added three new photos to it after our hike on Sunday!)

    I really enjoyed reading about your favorites, and agree that to be fair, there should be an edited and an unedited category! That "Tim Burton" photo (lol) was the first one I did, and I especially love how the stick looks! I think I was inspired by the heat while I was working on it - it was in the upper 90s at the time!

    Your unedited favorite is also mine, and the glitter and rain one is also one of my top favorites (that one took all of about 45 seconds to edit!) PhotoBucket's new editing tools are not without their frustrations and glitches (I've lost several when I hit "save" and had to start all over!), but it's got a lot of really cool stuff and I can't believe it's free!

  10. Barbara (KY) ~ Yep, they're classified as insects! :-)

  11. Aren't they beatiuful? I know how much you've always loved them and you've captured them so well ;-). By the way...I've been absent from your blog with PC problems...sorry!

  12. Spud ~ Absolutely, and I've always been disappointed that my love of dragonflies has rarely helped me capture a nice photo of one! I was very pleased to get this one, and am glad you enjoyed it.

    I was sorry to read of your computer troubles! How frustrating. I've missed you, and appreciate your hobbling around my blog "on crutches!" :-)

  13. Oh, my fav is definitely the last one...totally trippy! I love how his body colors are so vibrant! Very nice work on the edits; they're all interesting and pretty. I really like the one with the silver flourshes too!

    Sounds like a fun hike! I hope they figure out where Mocha's field is! LOL. :D

  14. Rose ~ LOL, "trippy!" I love that description! I think the glittery one is trippy too, and those are my two favorites as well. Thanks for your compliments on my editing touches. :-)

    Mocha and his buddies are in their Fall pasture, where he first started out last year when he moved there! We haven't gotten another chance to go out there, though, which is disappointing. I want to see my boy!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

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