This remarkable creature is called a Flame Skimmer. I was talking earlier about camouflage, but this guy flies in the face of all that. He's bright red in a green and brown pond. There's no camouflage here. Dragonflies are very often bright and shiny. Well, the males are anyway. The females tend to be brown and quite a bit more camouflaged.
According to Wikipedia dragonflies can fly between 30 and 60 km/h (19 to 38 mph), which ranks them as the fastest insects on the planet. Also, I've seen them change direction so fast it'll make your head spin. Yes, these guys really don't have to worry too much about hiding.
The "skimmer" family of dragonfly (Libellulidae, including the Widow Skimmer) are characterized by their large size and thick, fleshy bodies. I have observed that this family tends to land more often than those with the harder exoskeleton, such as the "darner" and "clubtail" families. I guess they just need to rest more often, but whatever the reason, it makes the skimmers MUCH easier to photograph.
This particular dragonfly exhibited another interesting behavior which worked to my advantage: He would take off, fly around for a while, and then land right back down in exactly the same spot. This behavior would not manifest itself over a long period of time, though, for when I went back to that same stick the next day, the Flame Skimmer was nowhere to be found. I've observed this behavior on several other occasions with a variety of dragonfly species.
Dragonflies are probably the most difficult animal I've ever photographed; but, like any other subject, I learn their habits and am better able to set up nice photos.