“The things we do for love”. Who was that? 10cc, perhaps?
Anyway, this morning – well, almost morning – I was awoken by a 6:00 AM alarm to get Francine down to Moraira before sunrise. She’s been wanting to play with her camera on the coast at Moraira for some time and, with the passing of summer, dawn is now slightly more reasonably placed. It didn’t actually feel very reasonable when I was getting up and driving out in the dark, though. Who’d be a landscape photographer? Dragonflies are much more civilized a pursuit, requiring both warmth and sun. No wonder I relate to them.
We arrived at Moraira as the eastern horizon was lightening. Francine wandered onto the beach to look for an appealing line-up. I sauntered after her and it became clear that she was having difficulty finding what she wanted. Eventually, though, the tripod feet were planted and she set about trying to remember how to use her filters and exposure timer.
Francine was getting cold having to stand still while she covered her camera’s eyepiece for the duration of an 8-minute exposure. I, at least, could wander about and generate a little heat.
Crucial lesson: The horizon colour faded noticeably shortly after we arrived and well before the sun actually broke the horizon. You really do have to beat dawn by quite a while to be set up in time. Francine wasn’t exactly delighted but it served as good practice.
After returning for some well deserved breakfast in Jalón, this looking like the best day weather-wise of our short trip, we went looking for Odos at the local river. Francine was keen to see an Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) which I’d found after she had to cut short her previous visit. We did find one but since neither of us was equipped for Odo magnification, she had to be content with a distant view. We did, however, find a different access point to another part of the river and here we happened across a Willow Emerald/Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestes viridis), which put my species count for the river up to a respectable 12. Francine also found an ovipositing Emperor, whose season in the UK has been long over.
Intriguingly but most of all frustratingly, a Demoiselle flitted through. It flitted much too fleetingly for me to get a good look at it. We first waited, then searched but to no avail; our late season Demoiselle had disappeared. Given our location and the timing, I suspect it would have been a Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) but, unless I can find it again, it will remain just a suspicion.
What a change a half-way decent climate makes. 🙂