Every year during the latter part of the summer, we are treated to the dance of the dragonflies. These tiny insect helicopters hatch out in our pond. They are a blue-body species, fairly large, about 3″ long.
On a late afternoon or early evening, perhaps due to an emerging hatch of tiny flies, hundreds of dragonflies will gather in one area. Within fifty square feet of lawn, this circus of aerial acrobatics will continue for several hours, until the food is gone. The dragonflies swoop and circle, dart and weave, zooming past one another with a rattle of paired wings. The tiny flies are snatched in midair and devoured.
If you stand in their midst, with blackflies buzzing your head, very quickly the dragonflies will eliminate your pests. They skim right past your ears and zip over your skull with millimeters of clearance.
Photographing moving dragonflies is no mean feat. They are so maneuverable that they are in one place for only a moment. During the Dance of the Dragonflies I have never seen a single insect alight, so enticing is the feast of tiny flies.
Then, suddenly, instead of a hundred or fifty dragonflies, only five or six are hunting. Searching for any last bite. In a blink the dancing insects are gone. With luck the dance will return another day.