Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The love affair continues................

............with the Anisoptera and  Zygoptera of our region. I spent nearly 5 hours yesterday afternoon with an emerging Southern Hawker after seeing the nymph exit the pond and crawl up a stem to begin the lengthy operation. I now think of emerging dragonflies in terms of drying washing. Yesterday was not a great "drying day" as the sunshine was intermittent but more importantly in the secluded clearing in Thornley Woods there was no wind. The stunner still hadn't taken to the wing when i had to leave, this being far longer than described in all the accounts i had read.
Below are some images from Saturdays visit to the bog in Cumbria.
Common Hawker
Female oviposting around edge of pool. Male/s were patrolling the pools continually, checking for other males and searching the vegetation around the edges for the females. I never saw a male come to rest once and they were very difficult to capture in flight.
 Black Hawker
Gorgeous female taking in the rays away from the commotion of the pools.
Handsome young male striking a pose. They start turning darker with age and only the old specimens turn almost all black.
 Emerald Damselfly
The 4 sub species of Emeralds are noticable straight away by the way they hold their wings. The only damselflies that do not hold their wings along the length of their bodies. Look at those blue eyes.......much better than Paul Newmans'.


  1. Lesley,
    I did reply to your comment on last posting and thank you for your kind comments. Don't know what happened to it. Must have forgotten to press the button.

  2. John,

    Great pics once again, how you manage it with your blunderbus (sorry, CANON) I just dont know.

    The full emergence time does differ as I have now watched 5 but only 1 fully which only took 2 and a half hours from the initial sight of the head poking through until its "flight" of about 2ft to hang and dry the wings then another "flight" of about 3m away from the Exuviae but then I had to leave. Another one took the same amount of time although I just caught it first when it had flipped round on the Exuviae and I kept returning to it and eventually watched it fly away just under 2 and a half hours later. I suppose its like our life cycle when you hear of the labour cycle taking 24hrs and some only a couple.


  3. You men amaze me with your remarkable patience and devotion, watching the emergence of these creatures! I don't think I would have that kind of endurance so it's great to be able to come here and see these wonderful photographs. The Emerald certainly is a stunner! I love the intricate detail of the wings in the second photo, which you can see perfectly when clicked on..... would make a gorgeous embroidery project.

  4. You seem to be right into the swing of it now John. Keep 'em coming.

  5. Hi John,
    I still reckon the weather conditions have a big part to play in the time it takes.

  6. I don't do embroidery Lesley so i'll have to pass on that project. I could crochet a dragonfly bonnet though!
    They are stunning in so many ways.........and haven't changed for millions of years (sounds like a blokes idea)

  7. Dick,
    I'll keep 'em coming while it lasts. Pity i couldn't share some of the sightings with your good self.

  8. Hee hee, you could make one for all your cronies. You'd all look so pretty sitting in the hide with your bonnets on. :O) I do know you were joking about the crochet thing, but then loads of men are into fashion and crafts these days......... so maybe not. :D