Monday 1 August 2011

Blues and twos

On Saturday morning, Our Lass and I had a pleasant stroll around Little Linford Wood. The water bodies here are fast disappearing due to the lack of rain and warmer temperatures. The main pond at the top of the wood has long gone and all its Ruddy Darters with it. Sad times.

The butterflies didn't seem too bothered about this, but then they have their own worries to contend with...

Like not having eyes in the back of their heads.

Or having left their spectacles in their other jacket.

The next day we popped over to RSPB HQ at The Lodge, mainly to buy a sack of bird food, but also to give some moral support to the Admiral, who was helping out the RSPB staff at a dragonfly event.

Of course, the fact that we would see plenty of odes, never crossed my mind!

The ornamental pond in the gardens, though full of fish, always plays host to a varied cast of dragons and damsels. We were able to compare a male Red-eyed Damselfly and a male Small Red-eyed Damselfly on adjacent lily pads. Apart from being smaller, the latter also has an extra patch of blue on the sides of abdominal segments two and eight.

In a right two and eight...
Meanwhile, a male Common Darter was being incredibly obliging by hovering just long enough for me to attempt a photograph.

In one of the smaller ponds, we spotted this young newt, paddling in the shallow end created by a lily pad.

Back at the main pond, a pair of Small Red-eyes were making out. Though I didn't realise it at the time, the lady is rather mature, her thorax colouring having turned from yellow to green to blue.

After mating and with the male still in attendance, the female will descend below the water surface to lay her eggs, a manoeuvre fraught with danger in a well-stocked fish pond. Amazingly, the damselfly population at The Lodge seems robust enough to survive this peril.


Jimio said...

We have many Damselflys in Michigan of various colors and they love to land on the raft that's out in the middle of the lake. Hitchin a ride and taking a rest I suppose.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Jimio, yeah, that's a possibility. We don't usually have such good views of Small Red-eyed, as they're often on much larger bodies of water and consequently further out. Those damsels are far out, man!