Photography at the Small Pond

Big wonders come from Small Ponds.

Blue Damsel, Bob Grytten Photo
Blue Damsel, Bob Grytten Photo

This morning I decided to cut back some of the foliage from around a pond  beneath our front deck. Surprise! Look at the Damselflies, all irridescent and active. It’s about 10AM in the mountains.

Out comes the camera. I’m using a Sony a6000 Mirrorless camera these days with a 18-200mm Sony lens.

Knowing dragonflies and damselfly behavior is to fly to one or two places, leave, then return to the same place. I find a spot with decent background and wait. Below me as I wait for the Damsel to return, tiny ants scurry around. Light changes, fascinating, challenging.

About Damsel and Dragonflies…

From the Peterson First Guides by Christopher Leahy on Insects, I learn there are 400 American species in this group. Most Damsels belong to the Narrow-Winged Damselfly family. This one appears to be in the “Bluet” species. They pick up tiny insects swarming over the water surface or even on shoreline plants. In turn, they are important prey for birds, frogs and other insect eaters, including dragon flies. There’s more to learn. I’m intrigued.

Want to have a pond?

Grytten Water Garden #2 Bob Grytten Photo
Grytten Water Garden #2 Bob Grytten Photo

Ponds are easy to make and upkeep can be simple or complex depending. I error on the side of simple. A beginner can even use a half whisky barrel, even without a liner they will hold water. Add a few native plants, a few goldfish from the pet store and watch. Before long there’s action. It will increase with time.

Want more agressive water feature? Get a preform for about $100, a pump for about $50 -80, pond plants and fish. More exotic, get a big liner. I recommend a Firestone 45mil liner. Ours has been in service since 2002. Make a waterfall or fountain, pre filter strainer, bio filter and go where your imagination and pocket book takes you. If not able to locate supplies locally, I have found to be a good source.

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