The reveal

I told you yesterday that I’d reveal the secret tomorrow, meaning today, and it’s still May 1st as this posts…

What you saw in the last month-end abstract was simply a dragonfly, one that was doing a good job of hovering in one spot, and so I snagged a photo of it in midair. At 1/50 second shutter speed, the wings blurred, and with the sun behind it, the reflections from the wing veins as they hit certain angles caused bright lines to be described. The dragonfly was facing away for this shot, so that’s the abdomen sitting in the center, while the outlines of the wings can be seen with little trouble – at least, now that one knows what they’re looking at. Possibly before, too – I didn’t quiz anybody on what they thought they saw, and of course I knew what I’d been taking photos of.

Here’s another frame, a tight crop from the original, but showing a significant amount of detail for the conditions. I’d like to think that I could do better if I tried, but I imagine that the attempts could drive my frustration level to an unhealthy point. So for now, just note how the legs are held, and how the wingbeat pattern (remember, dragonflies have four wings) isn’t as simple for a hover as we might imagine.

hovering dragonfly