"Meet up at Stowe Gardens after work? Then perhaps a meal in Buckingham?"
It was tempting. The day had been hot, so there would still be damsels and dragons about, but I was without camera and bins, nor did I have a change of shirt for the meal. And the thought of the carbon footprint involved in the endeavour, with all three of us travelling in separate cars, was somewhat disturbing.
But the gardens wouldn't shut until 6pm, the car park was open until 7pm so, as long as afterwards we all ate a locally-produced organic salad, the idea had legs. I left work at 4.30pm and made my way to Stowe through the country lanes.
And an inspired idea, it certainly was.
The main lake was teeming with Common Blue, Red -eyed and Blue-tailed damsels, whilst more Black-tailed Skimmers than I'd ever seen were patrolling the water's edge.
Pity about the lack of optics, mind, but needs must...
As the parkland emptied of visitors and the sun began to light up the stonework of the monuments, a few photo opportunities presented themselves.
|View across main lake towards the Corinthian Arch|
If anything, Saturday was even hotter. Good for odes, bad for His Tenseness, but I was driven on by the thought of all those skimmers whizzing to and fro. They did not disappoint, for as we walked around the edge of the main lake, we saw... well, what do you make of it?
|How many wings?|
|They can even fly around like this, which is rather impressive, I think!|
Research later revealed that the field guides state in an area where the density of males is high, the females will perch to egg lay, reducing the amount of disturbance they suffer.
Boys will be boys, eh?
|Male Black-tailed Skimmer|