Sunday, June 26, 2011

River Jewelwings

Summer sun has finally come to Oregon. A river jewelwing perches on a long blade of grass growing along the edge of Lookingglass Creek. The stream gurgles softly as it passes over a shallow rapids, then continues its way quietly downstream.

River jewelwings are one of our largest damselflies, and well named -- they are one the most beautiful. Both the male and female have metallic bodies. Most books say both are green, but I’d forgotten what the books say and painted what I saw -- a bright blue male. Looking at my photos later, he couldn’t have been much bluer. I did find that his color shifts from blue to green, depending on the angle of the light. All the females we photographed shone green, with golden undercurrents.
The two males flying together were awesome. They spent the better part of two hours chasing each other, with short rests – a territorial dispute. Their wings make the sexes easy to differentiate: Clear wings with dark tips for the males, smoky dark wings with white pterostigmas for the females.

For more about my afternoon with the jewelwings go to Serendipity: River Jewelwings, posted June 26, 2011


  1. Oooo, I love seeing Jewelwings! Beautiful renderings, Elva. And, I so love how you write :)

  2. I love dragonflies and their cousins! Lovely sketches, light and airy.

  3. You really captured these, Elva! I've got lots of them at my old cabin, have only seen a few in town here...

  4. Truly a wonderful capture of their elusive beauty.


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