Sunday, 19 August 2012

Enter the dragon

We had a bit of a do here yesterday, with children pelting round the garden on a rare warm and even sunny day. Also flitting around were the butterflies I mentioned in the last post plus a Peacock and a Red Admiral - and several magnificent dragonflies.

These seemed to enjoy the antics of the children and teased them like the Gallivespians in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, until one of them, a majestic female Southern Hawker, took the chase a little too far and zoomed into the house. I caught it in a hankie and released it again outside in front of several wide-eyed tots who naturally wanted to have a magic handkerchief too. But not before I managed to get a quick picture of it baffled by our floral curtains, arching its body in that extraordinary, almost disjointed way that they can do.

Here it is again, after straightening itself out. I thought at first that it had damaged its wings although its flight was as powerful as ever - too powerful for indoors where it was like a jet aircraft trying to fly round St Paul's Cathedral. In fact, it had been helping with out cleaning, scooping up bits of spiders' web and detritus which had evaded our diligent Hoovering.


Cyren said...

What a beautiful picture of such a beautiful dragonfly! I came upon several beautiful damselflies while hiking 2 weeks ago and there's one with jeweled wings that reminds me a lot of the dragonfly Lady Salmakia had in the His Dark Materials book (she had a shiny blue one didn't she?)

MartinWainwright said...

Hi Cyren

There are amazing creatures - specially here in the UK where things tend to be smaller and less flashy. They are quite easy to photograph as although they can zoom around at high speed, once they have decided to settle, they tend to stay for quite a while and don't seem to object to my creeping up on them with a camera. We get damselflies too, usually an electric blue so maybe that's what inspired Philip Pullman.

All v best as ever


SamuelMillar153 said...

Fantastic photos Martin - and I love the magic handkercheif trick!! :D