Possibly a male Banded Damselfly, Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds, UK. June 2010.

Patience is not a quality I have in abundance.  But I am learning it, especially if I want to photograph these delightful creatures.  There’s much luck in this shot.  I’d been wandering around the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey, biding my time until a rendezvous with my Partner.  Kirkstall Abbey, though extensive, did not have quite enough information to hold my interest for more than half an hour.  So I headed down towards the river, thinking I would read a book until rendezvous time.

At the patch of river I chose, I opened my book when a flash of emerald caught my eye.   When the wind came up, flashes of bright jewel colours – sapphire blue  and emerald green – rose from the river, darted wildly about and then settled again.  I inched closer and this scared off all the damsel/dragon-flies in the vicinity.  But I noticed that this little guy really liked that leaf and he would return to it, again and again.

I like this photo because Oanh thinks that creatures are so graceful and accurate, but they’re not.  This damselfly landed on the leaf but had not quite centred his weight.  If you look carefully, one leg is off the leaf.  That’s why his wings are so untidily displayed.  He had to fly up before settling again, and it was his own fault, not me who scared him.

If he noticed, he could have laughed at me later as I, too, flailed about when I misplaced my foot on the river bank and almost slid in.  Reading is much safer.



  1. Well done, that is a superb photo! I’m slightly envious as I rarely ever see them let alone try and get a photo of one.
    It always surprises me how birds and insects manage to land on things as they do, and I guess that they have the occasional mishap if it’s gusty or they’re having an ‘off’ day. xx


    1. Thanks, Flighty! I usually don’t try to photograph d-flies either but I had time to kill…

      I love it when a bird lands on a tiny branch that then begins to sway wildly. The bird hangs on for dear life and I think that it’s just being proud. Instead of letting go and finding another branch, it’s sticking around and pretending, “This is exactly what I meant to do. Yes it is.”


  2. That is one amazing shot! Brilliant colours. Did you capture it with the G11? I didn’t even notice the misplaced foot until you mentioned it. It’s amazing how little these creatures need to hang on.


    1. Thanks, nikkipolani. Yes, it was the G11.
      1/125, f 4.5 ISO 80
      And if I remember correctly, on full zoom.

      I love how much detail a photograph picks up. ‘Though my eyes might be better at seeing different light, the camera is much better than me at picking up details. I love looking at pictures on 100% to see things I did not see when I captured the photo itself.


  3. Thanks, Nicole and Emily .
    Funny what other people think are v good pics – I like this but mostly because of the foot off leaf thing, rather than because I think it’s a particular excellent, but lovely to know you find it beautiful.


  4. WOW! i love this so much. seeing it i feel something of what you felt when you saw them by the river. this has made my day and it’s a been a good day too!


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