The dance above the pond

The other day I noticed a couple of dragonflies buzzing around the pond, so I went back inside to grab the camera. The first one finally landed on a nearby shrub, so I snapped a quick photo:


The other one was not behaving, zipping around, not staying still for more than a second or so. Why so agitated?

***


I tried getting a good photo of that one, but wasn't having much success:


So I decided to just watch for a while.

A few moments later I saw both of them hovering around the same part of the pond, then something I wasn't expecting happened:


They mated!

I can give you a closer look, but it won't be great quality:


It's so weird how they attach. You'd think it would be tail-tip to tail-tip, but apparently it's not so.

This only lasted 30 seconds or so... maybe a minute. Then the male flew off, and I watched the female hovering low over the frogbit:



She did this for a while, then started touching her tail to the water on top of one leaf:



I had watched butterflies laying eggs before, but this was the first time I'd seen a dragonfly do it!

When she finished after several minutes and flew off I took a closer look:

Newly-laid dragonfly eggs on frogbit leaf.

Not surprisingly, the male was much calmer after this, perching relatively calmly nearby:


I finally got the shot I wanted:


I'm pretty sure these are "Blue Dasher" dragonflies, Pachydiplax longipennis.

Although I go to the pond a few times a day it's not like I sit beside it for hours -- seeing this was really cool, and a case of right place, right time for me in the garden.

I wonder how many amazing things I miss out here every day?

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sandy lawrence –   – (June 1, 2012 at 8:09 AM)  

Just spectacular, Alan, both photography and narrative. Thanks for allowing us to be witnesses. What a marvel nature is.

Teri  – (June 1, 2012 at 8:40 AM)  

LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing!

Gerhard Bock  – (June 1, 2012 at 10:36 AM)  

Amazing photos! I appreciate you being so patient.

Hilary  – (June 1, 2012 at 11:52 PM)  

Once you start asking yourself that very question, you begin to notice more and more. It's a wonderful process.. one I've seen a few times though I can't say that I ever actually saw the eggs before. That's very cool. Thanks to Teri for pointing your blog post out to me.

Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (June 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM)  

Oh WOW!! How amazing to have witnessed it AND managed to take photos!!

TexWisGirl  – (June 6, 2012 at 8:44 AM)  

wow. that is pretty amazing!!! congrats on your POTW!

She Writes Here Now  – (June 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM)  

Here from Hilary's. The second and last two shots are my faves.

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