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The Week Flu Right By

September 23, 2012
Black Saddlebags

© – Black Saddlebags

There was exactly zero photography accomplished during the week.  The reward for spending a week on the road is two weeks worth of work jammed into 5 days.  Somewhere in the middle of all this was a flu shot–modern medicine’s attempt to schedule when we get the flu.  Before the e-mails start flying, yes, I know that the flu shot is a group of dead viruses and you can’t get the flu from a flu shot.  But if I have the symptoms of the flu caused by the body trying build antibodies against the flu strains they’re protecting us against, then I might as well be having the flu.  ‘Nuff said.

Against my better judgement I did go out to Mitchell Lake Audubon Center on Saturday morning.  Going into the week the plan was to go out to someplace more exotic like Brazos Bend SP today.  But as bad I as I was feeling I just didn’t want to take the chance of having to deal with a three-plus hours of driving in sniffly-sneezy-coughy-achy mode with a wrist that didn’t feel very good to begin with.  But at the same time, I didn’t want weather as beautiful as we’re having go to waste.

So I ventured out there and had a decent day, though I could have used an IV drip of energy drink.  I made just a hair over 300 images, but mostly that was because I was making more images of a single subject rather than walking around because the less I walked, the better I felt.  Another danger of this was that I was a slow-moving target for mosquitoes.  In all the time I’ve been to MLAC I had never been bit by a mosquito.  Yesterday I got four solid bites.

Roseates were in much smaller numbers this time.  Eastern Pondhawks were doing fair to okay.  Blue Dashers seemed to be there in decent numbers, too.  I saw a couple of species of saddlebags.  I only had the one Black Saddlebags that you see leading the post.  I saw what were either Carolina or Striped Saddlebags, but they would never perch and it takes a keen eye to tell the difference between the two.  Either are reasonably common for the area, so I couldn’t say for sure.  I saw a Four-Spotted Pennant as was getting ready to leave and a few Common Green Darners flying about as well.

I drove down to the basins and polders but the stench drove me away.  Imagine walking right outside of a long string of porta-potties that have been out in the sun and have not been emptied for a couple of months.  Yep, that’s what it smells like.  As it does me no good to drive when I’m doing dragonflies, the polders will have to wait until things cool down and empty out.

All in all it was a good day of shooting, but I quickly escaped back to the house to rest, relax, and re-hydrate.  Hoping I’ll be feeling better as the week goes forward.  No time to be out sick–it’ll just mean more to do when I return.

About the Image:
This one Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) was the only one I saw all day.  He let me walk around him to a couple different angles.  But when he decided he was done, he was done and off he flew.  My last good chance with this species the dragon kept coming back to the perch.  Not so much with this one.  This was using the Standard Gear.  No flash.  ISO 400, 1/250th at f/13.  The format is a little different–normally I crop everything into a 4×5 format.  This one is cropped to an 8×5 format so it could be resized into screen wallpaper.  Sounds like fodder for a blog entry.

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