Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Icarus flew too near the sun. Alas, one of our Southern Hawker dragonflies has flown too near the water. I found it, crashlanded in our pond, presumably unable to take off again because its wings were soggy or caught by lying flat on the surface tension.

Here it is; a rather extraordinary image head-on - the last view in life, I guess, for anything on which Southern Hawkers predate. Actually, I haven't had time to check on dragonfly diet and won't for a while; but will update when I have done. (And here I am, much earlier than I expected - after all, it's only a couple of Google clicks. They are skilled hunters of other insects including...aaagh...moths. Interestingly, their aquatic nymphs sometimes venture out of the water in search of prey. Sad that water should end this one's remarkable, partly-amphibious career).

Some people kindly drop into this blog from overseas. If any such are reading, you might be interested in this non-mothy picture taken on a weekend walk which Penny and I took along a section of the path which circles Harrogate. It's marvellous that a seaside set of binoculars can be provided without fear of vandalism, even down to the set of wooden stands which passers-by can arrange to suit their children's height.

Ever the bold experimenter, I took this picture through the lens, like a spy. It shows the atmospheric ruined church on How Hill above Fountain's Abbey, another lovely spot. I include these because the street troubles may have given rather a lurid view of life in the UK. Fear not, all is mostly well and we have a long history of such outbreaks when parts of society blow their pressure valve. Beneficial change usually follows once everyone has calmed down which, touch wood, they now have.


Cyren said...

Dragonflies!!! They are sort of my newfound interest right now! SO lovely!!!

Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Hello Martin,

sorry to see your southern hawker bit the dust...or rather the not dust. I love our dragonflies here especially because their primary diet is one of mosquitoes. And the larvae too live on mosquito larvae.

After your avowwed desire to visit our Great Dismal Swamp I'm sorry to have to tell you that right now its particularly dismal as it is on fire.


MartinWainwright said...

Hi both!

Good to hear from you

Check out the better news in the latest post...

Have you read the Philip Pullman trilogy His Dark Materials in which excellent use is made of dragonflies, or at least dragonfly-like creatures?

Mosquitos, yucch. But yes indeed, I would like to see a burning swamp. Sounds positively Biblical. I will head for your blog in search of pics.

all warm wishes


Cyren said...

Yes I have read Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials! Such a fascinating read!!! And yes, who could forget the miniature gallivespians on their dragonfly mounts. I was especially fond of the bright blue one with the ability to glow. :D