Monday, 23 July 2007
This is our "Dragonfly Pond" - it has a chainsaw sculpture of a dragonfly in the plants around the shallow pond; but also it is a breeding place for at least three species of dragonfly. This morning I was inspecting the area where the hens had redesigned the pond edge and was considering what needed to be done to clear some of the vegetation, when I spotted an adult dragonfly emerging from its nymphal cast. In summer we often find the empty casts on the iris leaves and sometimes see newly emerged dragonflies resting in the sunshine - but we have rarely witnessed one actually emerging. I ran back to the studio for my camera and stepped carefully on the rocks dividing the shallow pond from the deeper section, it was then I saw not just one but three dragonflies all just emerging! Their wings were still folded together above the body and the bodies looked pale and delicate.
I returned a few hours later, one of the dragonflies had opened its transparent wings which were quivering slightly and the colour of the body was darker. I think this is a female Southern Hawker dragonfly (but I'm not an expert - so please correct me if I've got that wrong).