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2021 Shooting Day #9 – William B. Pond Recreation Area

June 6, 2021
© Jim Miller – Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida)

For those who follow this blog regularly, you will notice that I’ve left out Shooting Day #8. That was a shooting day at Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR. It was more of a scouting trip than a dedicated photo shoot. But since I did make a few images and it did go into my shooting database, it is did count as a shooting day. I should be making a return trip to RMA NWR in the next couple of weeks so hopefully the scouting trip gave me some insight and better images next time.

The end of April found my shooting companion and I out in Northern California. A family get-together, long delayed by Covid considerations, was finally able to happen.

Normally when I go out for a family event I leave my photography gear at home. If the purpose of the trip is family, then I try to keep it concentrated on family.

But on this trip I made an exception. I really wanted to bump my States with a Portfolio Image count up one. And with some really pretty shots of dragonflies and damselflies coming out of the Sacramento area and with us flying into Sacramento, I bent my self-imposed rule a little bit. Plus I wanted another run at traveling with the Think Tank Camera Bag.

My shooting companion and I flew into Sacramento late Thursday night which gave us the chance to be up early Friday morning, somewhat refreshed and ready to go. After a quick conversation over breakfast at the Black Bear Diner, we decided our target for the morning was going to be William B. Pond Recreation Center, technically in Carmichael, as part of Sacramento County’s American River Parkway.

Two hiccups on this particular visit. First was the entry fee to get into the park. The cost was reasonable, but it was self-pay. Unfortunately, I wasn’t carrying enough cash to cover the $5 fee. So we had to turn around, find an ATM, break the $20, and then return to the park. Failure to plan on my part.

Hiccup number two was nature-related. My shooting companion and I were walking up the trail, scanning the environment for dragonflies and damselflies when I spotted something that lacked both wings and legs but was moving under its own power. About the time I said, “Snake…”, she had spotted it as well. Neither of us brought our snake boots on this particular trip because of the size they take up in the suitcase. I recognized the species and knew it was harmless, but there is no such thing as a “harmless snake” for my shooting companion. Off to the car she went, but still encouraging me to get the shots I wanted.

I walked another 100 yards or so and I found what I was looking for. In a clearing just off of one of the ponds at the recreation center (along with the very strong odor of Cannabis from the folks fishing at that pond… gotta love California), was a small cluster of vegetation and rocks that had quite a few damselflies.

The vegetation was all pretty low, so it was going to require every bit of flexibility I have left to get down onto the ground and manipulate the tripod so I could get the shots I wanted.

Highlight of the morning was the included image of a Vivid Dancer damselfly. Strikingly blue little creature that behaved for me long enough to get the shots that I wanted. Also present were Emma’s Dancer damselflies.

With about 125 shots on the card, and knowing that my shooting companion was waiting on my return, I wandered back to the parking area. As I returned, she was doing some shooting of her own, experimenting with some of the vegetation that was growing on the edge on the American River and enjoying the general atmosphere of the park.

The result of the day was a new damselfly species in the portfolio and state number 12 marked off on the States with a Portfolio Image long-term project–the first of 2021. Glad I bent my rules.

About the Image
Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida)
Sacramento County, California
Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 300mm f4 L w/1.4x teleconverter
ISO 400, 1/640 at f/13 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #1047
Image Size in Portfolio: 3801×3041

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