Early Alarm

We are already on holiday but Francine had set this morning’s alarm for 05:45. To find out why, we must rewind 24 hours.

Yesterday morning, Francine had awoken at about 06:00 to peer out of Guillaume’s window and find a misty morning over the campsite lake. This was like a red rag to a bull. Forsaking her beloved first cup of tea, she donned clothes and prepared to grab her camera.

With mist on offer, I wondered if I might get the chance of a picture I have long wanted to try, a dew-covered dragonfly or damselfly still roosting. I joined the early morning madness and threw on some clothes, too. We were in business at 06:15.

_18C2978Francine set about her misty sunrise lake picture while I went looking for roosting damselflies. I like it and the ducks seem to like it, too.

With her lake-scape in the bag, Francine came to join me on the roosting odonata hunt. We’d seen a particular corner of the lake where there was a lot of activity the previous evening so this is where we concentrated our search. They were tricky little devils to find but shortly we began to get our eyes in and started finding some. Sure enough, the little beauties, all White-legged Damselflies (Platycnemis pennipes) were covered in dew as I’d hoped they would be.

J18_0611Dewy White-leggedJ18_0612 Dewy Damsel 1024Getting the right line-up on the right suspect was tricky. I tried against the light thinking that might make the dew drops glisten more, then with the light to get some surface detail. On balance, I think with the light seemed better. The most important aspect, as is normally the case, was background – the clearer the better. Classic portrait stuff, really. That wasn’t easy with subjects generally keeping low down for shelter in a mass of tall grass stems. Here’s a couple of what I think are worthy shots, though they show how important the background is when compared to this one, with which I am particularly happy.

J18_0624 Dewy Damsel 1024

We returned to Guillaume for a cup of well earned coffee, both happy with our efforts.

So, today Francine had set her painfully early alarm hoping to get us out a little earlier for a repeat misty performance. Off went the alarm. Francine scrambled to the window and peered out. No mist. I went to have a look at my damselflies anyway but they were all perfectly dry, not a glistening drop in sight. We made tea instead.

It’s all about time and place. You need the right atmospheric conditions to occur in a suitable location that you’re on top of and you need to know the intricacies of the location. All our ducks haven’t been lined up before but here, we struck lucky.

Posted in 2018 France
2 comments on “Early Alarm
  1. Maureen Barlin says:

    Stunning shots of the dew covered dragons and damsels.
    Beautiful misty lake shot too!

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