This is a picture of a Blue-eyed Darner who has just emerged from its exuvia (the outside skeleton that protected the nymph). Ours have always emerged during the night, and scientists have said that this is always true of the Darners (Aeshna). The picture was taken with a flash which unfortunately washed out the color quite a bit. Hopefully you can see that its wings are already most of the way pumped up.
We hope to add a series of pictures here someday of ones we watch in the future. Once we spent about an hour from 11-midnight watching one as it emerged, and we hope to do it again with camera in hand. So please come visit again!
This is a better view of the exuvia left behind by a Blue-eyed Darner after emerging. During June we had about 5 of these emerging from our ~18X26 foot pond each night! Each morning it was a treasure hunt to look around to see how many of these we could find. I've been collecting them and can honestly say that so far this summer (I'm writing this on July 12, 1997), over 60 dragonflies have emerged from our pond, most of them on vegetation but a few on the rocks that surround the pond. Most of them have been Blue-eyed Darners but there have been nearly a dozen Green Darners and 3 skimmer types (their excuviae are wider and shorter, with their legs more spread out).