Black Saddlebags Dragonfly – Pretty and Pretty Good


One trip to the meadow brings an abundance of dragonflies. Only one variety, but lots of them.


Where were they all summer? It was like a Black Saddlebags convention today.

Others had an abundance of the little fellows, but not around here. I am always on the lookout for them too. I saw fewer varieties just like butterflies this year, but did catch some pretty ones.


You know what is really funny about taking photos? You set out with a subject in mind and of course that is not what you find, but keeping open to option brings something just as nice and unexpected.


I did not set out to photograph insects, I was out looking for birds. I wished I had the macro lens on the camera, but then I would have seen hawks. Just the way it goes sometimes. A macro lens would not get them flying though, so that’s a bonus.


I have to say not seeing many dragonflies all summer, that this was a treat. I bet I walked only ten feet and there was another one perched and clinging. They were deep in the vegetation close to the ground rather than perching high for the hunt. The strong wind kept them low.

TheMeadowThe meadow where I find them.


An expert can tell their age by the markings on the abdomen. The abdomen has yellow-orange spots on the segments, fading over time the older the dragonfly. If much older, it may not have spots at all.


Males and females look-alike, except for the color of the face. If it is dark in color it is a male and if it is yellow-brown, a female.


The meadow is a great place to hangout.


Cool dragonfly videos from the NWF site…. check ’em out. Really interesting critters.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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40 Responses to Black Saddlebags Dragonfly – Pretty and Pretty Good

  1. Great captures Donna! I love the markings on their wings. I had to chuckle about the lens issue. That happens to me all the time. Just yesterday I had my macro lens and sure enough there was a hawk perched perfectly on a stump at the far end of the garden.

    • Having the wrong lens happens more than I like to admit. Someday, I will get like the pros and bring the camera bag. I find the other lens I often mistake is my wide angle. I have missed really great shots not having it along.

  2. What great photos and what a beautiful creature! Thanks for sharing what you found in your meadow. And by the way the photo of the female cardinal below is awesome! Blessings, Natalie

  3. Amazing captures. I love photographing dragonflies. It is amazing how they will sit there and let you photograph them.

  4. Stunning images, these are beautiful dragonflies, those markings are gorgeous. I too can sympathise with taking wrong the wrong lens, its so frustrating lol. I now take my little Panasonic lumix TZ30 with me as it goes from 24-430mm so I can capture the range I’m missing. I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised at the macro quality, but it will never replace my canon 100mm. I wish we got these dragonflies in the UK, what a pleasure to see soooo many at one time. Thanks for sharing x.

    • I have done that taking my small Nikon along places too. When I went to the Garden Bloggers Fling I took it because I also had my landscape lens in the bigger Nikon. It really did give flexibility without all the weight of many lenses. The meadow is within walking distance of my home, so I am never too far from all my equipment, so really, I could have walked home and then back. I am just not that motivated I guess. 😀

  5. connie661 says:

    These are really cool creatures. Thanks for the fascinating information about them. I think we know more about lions and tigers and other exotic animals than we do about the animals in our own area.

  6. Rose says:

    Beautiful photos! I’ve seen quite a few dragonflies this summer, but I have no idea what type they are. Not many butterflies, though, sadly.

  7. Pat says:

    Beautiful captures.

  8. Bom says:

    We have a lot of dragonflies right now, too. Strangely they are many dragonflies when there are also many mosquitoes. In our case, this is more prominent during the rainy season. Probably because there is more still water for breeding.

    LOL at having the wrong lens or the wrong subject. Doesn’t look it though. You still got great shots.

  9. supernova1c says:

    Wow Donna, absolutely wonderful shots! 🙂

  10. Phil Lanoue says:

    Excellent views of these amazing critters.

  11. janechese says:

    I have never seen that detail in the mid-section before Excellent close-ups!

  12. The aerial shots make the dragonfly look like an airplane. You would never know that you didn’t have a macro lens for the close ups—so clear.

    • They do look a little “plane-like”. Helicopters where flying overhead along the border, and I look at the dragonflies as mini-helicopters when they hover or make sharp, fast turns mid-air. They are amazing flyers. One of the videos has one escaping a frog in slow motion. Another shows their flight.

  13. Denise says:

    Cool videos indeed. They are amazing creatures.

  14. Stephi says:

    Beautiful photos! What an interesting pattern on this dragonfly. Too funny about the lens. Happens to us all the time.

  15. These were fabulous. I’ve never seen this type of a Dragonfly before. Love it’s markings.

  16. We have been chock full with record numbers in my garden with many varieties. You may be seeing great numbers suddenly of one kind because they are migrating south right now.

  17. Fergiemoto says:

    I love the dragonflies! Great shots!

  18. Gorgeous I must by those two lenses I am missing 🙂

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