Looking back

"mountain hawkweed" - "berghavikskruid" - Hieracium sect. Alpina
Mountain Hawkweed in in the Swedish fjälls

It’s the end of december, time to look back to the previous year. What were the nicest trips, what was the best picture?

This year I didn’t go to the high Arctic, instead I had time to finish a trip in Sweden with Ruben. Not a true photography trip, but still I had the chance to make some nice pictures like this hawkweed and these Golden plovers. Next time I go back to these fjälls, it will be on a true photography trip with lots of time to take full advantage of the photo possibilities that place offers.

Golden Plover - Goudplevier - Pluvialis apricaria
Golden Plover on a rock in the Swedish fjälls


Despite all my good plans, I didn’t spend as much time photographing dragonflies as I wanted, but there were still a couple of highlights. In spring I joined an excursion to the only known location of the Dark Bluet in the Netherlands. Unfortunately they didn’t cooperate too well and the pictures aren’t too good.

Spearhead Bluet - Speerwaterjuffer - Coenagrion hastulatum
A male Spearhead Bluet

More successful was my search for a Spearhead Bluet. Last year I managed to find one, only too bad I only figured that out when I was searching through my pictures about a month later. This year I knew better what to look for and I found several (together with Geert and Bas). This male nicely posed for the camera which resulted in some good pictures.

Mercury Bluet - Mercuurwaterjuffer - Coenagrion mercuriale
A female Mercury Bluet against the light

Another success story was a trip to Germany. Despite our unsuccessful search for Sedgelings we still had a great day. We saw many nice butterflies and dragonflies and at the end of the day we saw several Mercury Bluets, like this female. Next year we’ll try again, hopefully finding those Sedgelings this time.

Red-veined Darter - Zwervende Heidelibel - Sympetrum fonscolombi
A Red-veined Darter at rest

The last highlight was a trip with Geert in search for Banded Darters around Eibergen. The Banded Darter is doing very well in the Netherlands the last year and we managed to find about a dozen. However, due to the nice weather they were really restless and impossible to photograph. When I decided to go after one of the other darters I saw one resting on a branch. When I came closer I saw the blue eyes of a Red-veined Darter. This one did nicely pose, resulting in this nice picture.

Before the year is over there’ll be one more highlight, but more on that later….

All in all a nice year, without any really spectacular highlights, but definitely not boring. Now lets begin with 2010…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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