Topic: Oshiro 60mm 2:1 Macro: Surprise Appearance of Darter Dragon

In our garden we have a large plastic water tank, some 3 feet across and at east that deep. It is kept at least partially full from a plumbed-in (hard) tap water supply. At the bottom is some murky sludge of mostly organic origin.

The water hosts various aquatic invertebrates, mostly tiny, but sometimes with aquatic syrphid (Eristalis larvae or small aquatic beetles.

There is one more-unusual resident there now, a medium-sized frog. A few days ago I spotted the frog and placed a sloping piece of wood so as to give a ramp from the water to the rim of the tank as an escape route.

The water is for watering the garden plants. We fill large watering cans by plunging them into the water. A couple of days ago I have filled three such cans when I decided to check if the frog was still in the water. The pair of eyes looking back at me were not amphibian.

The piece of wood was floating on the surface of the water and, on one end, there was a female Darter (Sympetrum) with her tail end in the water.  Was she laying eggs? She looked only partly coloured-up and thus immature. I went to collect my camera.

I took some daylight shots with my Olympus 4/3 50mm f2. Then I went to get my Oshiro 60mm and twin flash. I set it to “2:1” for some portraits, then backed off for whole insect daylight shots. Finally, I held the piece of wood up to a nearby flower and the dragon climbed off. Further daylight shots captured this.

I searched to surface of the water for an exuvium but did not find one. The next day, I found three mature dragonfly nymphs floating upside down and dead in the water. This was evidence that the nymph could have lived for many moths in the tank and had recently emerged.

A close look at the first image shows the front end of an exuvium on the far edge of the left end of the piece of wood. I have sharpened this part of the image selectively. Perhaps lifting the wood out of the water dislodged it but not over the water where I would have seen it.

The portraits have not been cropped. The image with the white border was retrieved from the stereo by copying and pasting. I have failed to remove the border.

The stereos are crosseye.