Tuesday 14 March 2017

Seasonally disaffected

Just when you thought that I was mellowing in my old age...

Gentlemen of a certain vintage (and probably some ladies too, but I suspect mostly gentlemen) will remember the Top Trump card packs of the 1970s and 1980s. As I recall, their topics were most likely to interest boys, like military hardware and modes of transport, and the playground always seemed to have a group of lads competitively brandishing around numerical data. I was not immune to this behaviour.

The brand changed hands over the years and has moved with the times, such that there is now a wide variety of subjects with a much broader appeal. This is a good thing.

Recently, I was shown a modern pack, Awesome Animals, full of fascinating facts about incredible wildlife, all very inspirational and with the potential to propogate a love of Nature.

Within the pack there was a dragonfly! Yes, really! Oh, joy unconfined!


You just knew there was going to be a 'But...', didn't you?

Yes, dragonflies are awesome. Yes, they should be featured in a pack of cards about Awesome Animals. Yes, the informat... hang on a minute... oh, [expletive removed]!

We will leave aside my own rather biased opinion on odo Cuteness (somewhat higher than the stated 10%) and the science that shows dragonflies are both harmless to humans and useful in controlling midges (so a Mischief rating much lower than 72%).

However, I do take exception to the ID. The dragonfly in the photo would appear to be a Migrant Hawker, rather than an Emperor. And although the photo doesn't show the insect's abdomen in sharp focus, I'm willing to wager that Eve is a bloke. I don't have a problem with blokes called Eve, to be honest, but I would question the need to give another name to something that is already called Aeshna mixta. So, if a humanised name was required, perhaps Mick would have been a better option?

Ah well, only 71 days to dragonfly season...

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