Today’s Photography 101 topic is “scale” and I decided to take a trip to the pond after work today to take this shot:

The front half of what you can see in the photo represents about 50% of the territory of the strongest green darner dragonfly at this pond. It will fly back and forth across this area hundreds of times each day that it manages to keep control of the territory. It’s quite a large area for a 3 inch long insect to patrol and maintain control over. In fact, there’s a dragonfly in the photo to give you a sense of how big the space is relative to the insect. Can you find it? Trust me, it’s there, right there:

I’m always impressed by how huge the territory for some of the large dragonflies are. Insects never cease to amaze me.


Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth.


5 thoughts on “Scale

  1. I really love dragonflies and all their different colors. A couple times I was surrounded by hundreds of them, seriously. It was amazing to see so many of them just fly over my head. There were some people on the trail that started getting closer to me and the dragonflies disappeared in a heartbeat. Gone, vanished…none anywhere. After the people left and were down the trail, boom! They all were back and were flying over my head again. I stood there in total amazement. It was the coolest experience I had with dragonflies. I had to share. Thank you for your photos:)

    • Ooh, sounds like you saw a swarm!! If you see any in the future, I’m collecting reports of that behavior for a research project I’m doing. There’s a link at the top of my blog that tells you all about the project and if you hover over the tab it will drop down the link to the report form. Would love to add any swarm sightings you make to my collection of data!

  2. I would like to thank you for your post of yesterday, I believe.  Your explanation of goldenrod gall was the answer to a question I’ve had for years. Best Wishes,Johnny

    • I’m so glad I was able to solve a mystery for you! And just for future reference, a lot of weird bumps and bulges you might see on trees and other woody plants are galls, caused by larvae of flies, wasps, or moths mostly. There are thousands of different types! Really cool bit of biology.

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