Posts tagged ‘Common Darter’

August 28, 2014

An ugly beauty


The photo above is of a “Common Darter” Dragonfly, (at least I think it is, I found a similar enough picture in our Collins British Wildlife book and online).  It’s probably a female or immature male!  (See Chris Brooks’ excellent site here for more.)

Usually these wonderful insects fly away the moment you get anywhere near, but I was able to get quite close on this occasion (with a 70-300mm) lens.  Even so this is a 16 megapixel file heavily cropped to get close enough to see the detail.  I came across one of these Darters before, you can see that post here (definitely a male on that occasion.)

There really is something magnificent about Dragonflies.  They truly are beautiful to look at as they fly into your vision, and as they do so you find yourself hoping that they will just settle somewhere nearby so that you can get a closer look.  I don’t know how something can be both beautiful and ugly but there you are. On one level it is a marvel of Creation, with such masterful intricacy and balance, perfect in it’s design and operation.  On another level it is a terrifying monster (particularly if you happen to be a smaller and edible insect nearby!)

Of course it is not just Dragonflies that are capable of beauty and ugliness, it is a contradiction which we humans exhibit to an even greater degree.  We want to be a good person, we want to do the right thing but all too often we mess up.  I love the way that the Apostle Paul describes this internal dilemma in the Bible:

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate… Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Romans 7:15, 24-25 NLT)

Unlike the Dragonfly, we do have an option to change, an opportunity to be rescued from the ugliness of our sin.  That wonderful option is found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…

August 10, 2010

Common Darter

Common Darter Dragonfly

Dragonflies are wonderful insects to watch and for me at least very difficult to photograph.  I don’t have a macro (close up) lens so it means I have to get as close as I can.  Unfortunately my attempts to get a picture of this fella (a Common Darter), were a bit like the fisherman and ‘the one that got away’.  From a distance I managed to get the picture above (which I have magnified to make it look bigger but at the expense of detail) and then I carefully edged forward until I got really close.  It would have been a good picture.  I pressed the shutter release only for the memory card in the camera to stop working!  As I looked at the error message in the viewfinder blinking ‘CHR’ the Dragonfly saw his chance of escape and darted off.  Humph.