Wickiup, a place of beauty and if you want solituDe in Linn county

As many of you know, I have been volunteering for Linn County Conservation and at Wickiup for at least 15 years. From doing some photography for them to serving as a host at Wickiup on weekends. I discovered this special place a few months after moving to Linn county from Iowa City nearly forty years ago. I am sure that I have hiked all of the property, from the north woods end to the south pond, from the east prairie to the Cedar River greenbelt. Getting to know the conservation staff, especially at the volunteer appreciation dinners, has been a lot of fun.

Last weekend, I had the morning shift Saturday, from 10-1pm. I arrived early, wanting to hike around before my shift. I took the boardwalk into the central pond area. Everywhere I looked there were dragonflies. When my shift ended, I grabbed my Canon 5D Mark IV, 100-400 lens and tripod and sat down on the walkway, waiting and hoping that a dragonfly would land nearby. After about 10 minutes, several dragonflies started to land about 10 feet from my position. I waited quietly, not moving hoping that one of them would come even closer, finally, one did (see image below). With their four wings that can function independently of each other, you need to practice waiting patiently for the right moment. To stop the action, the image was taken at 1/200 at f/16 ISO400.

There are more than 5,000 known species of dragonflies, all of which (along with damselflies) belong to the order Odonata, which means “toothed one” in Greek and refers to the dragonfly's serrated teeth.