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Sunday Book Club

September 25, 2011
Blue-ringed Dancer

© jmillerphoto.com - Blue-ringed Dancer damselfly

I decided not to go out and make images this weekend.  I thought seriously about going up to Pedernales Falls SP to check out the bird blinds and maybe a couple of other things on the way.  Really.   But with hot temperatures predicted and a nasty certification test scheduled for next Saturday, I figured that I should probably stay home.  So I’m taking a quick break, enjoying a little bit of coffee, and getting a quick blog entry before I hit the next section of the studying.

So as I was still trying to make it through keywording my Ohio images, I ran into a heck of a problem with one particular damselfly.  I finally made contact with Greg Lasley, a contributor to Odonata Central and as far as I’m concerned one of the most skilled odonata photographers I’ve ever seen.  He helped me out with my problem, and also recommended a book by John Abbott’s “Damselflies of Texas: A Field Guide.”  I had seen it at my local Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago and thought about picking it up. It was plastic-wrapped so I didn’t know exactly what was in it and with three digits worth of books in my hand as it was, I put it off for later.  That was a mistake.

This book rocks.  It is very well organized, the information is relevant, concise, and thorough.  Each species has its own page with fly times, map of where it is likely found, and how rare the species is.  There are also separate pages to line up all of the body color patterns and other species specific body parts to ease in quick identification.

I buy a lot of books to help identify what I make images of.  This book is hands down the best guide I’ve seen for insects and possibly the best identification book, period.  Well done, Dr. Abbott.  Now, please work on a dragonfly field guide.

About the image:

This is female Blue-ringed Dancer (Argia sedula) was the one I had problems with.  I had never seen the green variant, only the brown one.  It was made at Siebenthaler Fen during my trip to Ohio.

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