Today was a beautiful sunny day in Brussels, Belgium and I had some free time to explore the city. I have been in Brussels for short business trips a number of times in recent years and have already visited many of the attractions in the center of the city. Today I decided to look for some of the kinds of wildlife that I love to photograph, so I made my way to a park that leads to the Botanical Garden of Brussels.
I was encouraged a little when I saw some ducks and turtles in the small pond there and my level of excitement really soared when I spotted some dragonflies flying about. The only problem was that the dragonflies refused to land. When I have my normal DSLR and my favorite lenses, I’ll try to capture in-flight shots, but when I am traveling for work, I tend to leave all that gear at home and use a point-and-shoot camera. My current travel camera is a Canon SX50. I has an amazing zoom lens, but really is not responsive enough to photograph moving dragonflies.
A bit later, I made my way to the opposite side of the tiny pond and discovered the staging area for the dragonflies. Every now and then a dragonfly was would perch very briefly on the vegetation. It took quite a few tries, but eventually I got a few shots. I don’t know anything about European dragonfly species, so I can’t really identify the ones that I photographed today. They look pretty similar to ones that I have seen at home and certainly they belong to the same families, but I’d sure welcome assistance in identifying the species.
Today was a day full of unexpected treats. I don’t expect to see bright days full of sunshine during trips to Europe and I didn’t really expect to find dragonflies in Brussel’s urban center.
UPDATE: I have done a bit more research on the internet and it looks to me like the dragonflies in the first two photos below may be Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta).
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