Photo 4080705, (c) Brian Gooding, all rights reserved

Attribution © Brian Gooding
all rights reserved
Uploaded by briangooding briangooding
Source iNaturalist
Original http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/4080705
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briangooding

Date

July 20, 2011 03:18 PM CST

Description

Male Sympetrum eroticum ardens

Thanks to @scottking for the help on this one.

I took a trip to Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) which, at that time in my life, was probably the most dangerous mountain bus ride I had been on. Thankfully I befriended a strange guy whose awkward conversation kept me distracted from my own anxiety.

Immediately after the bus stopped and I got out I saw this beauty perching probably about head-height and I casually swiped it from underneath. So I guess I broke my own rule of taking an in situ shot prior to capture but I didn't want to draw any attention to it. I knew the local people would find it too strange and it could potentially cause some misunderstandings.

So, I took some photos discreetly and said goodbye to the only Sympetrum friend I ever met in China. If I could do it over I'd do it differently and risk confrontation, maybe carry any small guidebook with me to help bridge the understanding of this non-malevolent behavior.

I saw a few other species of dragonflies on the mountain besides this one (actually this was at the base--we still had to take a cable car to the top). Up highere we saw many Pantala flavescens visible hovering around scenic overlooks and couple of other Libellulidae I have yet to identify.

Comically, our bus ride pal hung out with us a bit and as we peered over the edge of a very dangerous and handicap-unfriendly lookout point he breathed a deep sigh, told us how beautiful it was and how it would be the perfect place to commit suicide. Thankfully, we all walked away together to check in to our overpriced hotel.

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