Dragonfly with its bumblebee prey, photo by Steve Bruno
Dragonfly with its bumblebee prey, photo by Steve Bruno

Yesterday, the clouds built in dramatic fashion over the mountains on the western edge of town.  It appeared the photography gods were finally bestowing upon me a reason to take my camera out, and this even seemed to have the potential for heavy rain.  I left shortly after 3, because I wanted to be ahead of rush hour traffic.  Glimpses of occasional lightning bolts where the clouds were starting to let loose were setting the tone for stunning images.  But, alas, I was getting ahead of myself.

By the time I was at the edge of Red Rock Canyon, the dry desert air had taken the legs out from under the storm, and it was looking like I wasted the trip for nothing.  Mount Charleston would have been dangerous when the lightning bolts were flying about, but I was thinking that was a better choice now.  It’s too late for that now.  I’m here, and I might as well try to make something of it.

As I parked at a trailhead, the last wisp of shade was upon me.  I saw a possible photograph in the direction of one of the trails, and headed out that way.  The sand on the trail was pitted from the random raindrops less than an hour before.  When I arrived at the photo location, I pulled out my tripod.  The shot I wanted was a panorama, and I would have to stitch several frames together.  About the same time, a dragonfly landed on the rock near the tripod.  I moved in for a closer inspection, which set the dragonfly into takeoff prep status, so I eased away.  I had pulled a few things out of my pack before I left.  One of them, my longer macro lens, would have come in handy now.  I took a couple shots with the next best lens I had for the situation, then went about taking my panorama.  After I was done, the dragonfly was still there, and it was now that I noticed what looked like bee colors near its head.  This time I took a few more shots showing the bee more clearly.  It was dinnertime for the dragonfly, but I felt like I was the one who was cooked.  A mere half hour in the afternoon sun and it felt like I spent the day out there.  The panorama turned out great, but this is the shot I was meant to get.