Saturday, 29 July 2017

Record collectors

For 2017, National Dragonfly Week ran from the 15th to the 23rd July. That's not strictly a week, I know, but who's counting, eh? Well, as it turned out, my Dragonfly Week began at an indoor event at the Orkney Wildlife Information and Records Centre (OWIARC), formerly the Orkney Biodiversity Records Centre. And believe you me, those guys count everything!

Hmmm, I must admit that, several  months ago, my early Spring black mood was not helped one iota by the realisation that I had double-booked myself for the first day of National Dragonfly Week. How could I make such an elementary mistake? Mid-July, perfect time for looking for Odonata, and where was I going to be? Indoors. Doh.

The cause was a good one, mind. An Open Day at the Records Centre, allowing the general public to see what goes on within, to view some of the collections and also to bring along photos (or specimens!) for ID.

Saturday dawned, and pretty much stayed, grey and wet, so I need not have worried about missing out on any odo action. Along with a few other County Recorders, I set up a stand for my area of... er... 'expertise'.

Some of the collections on show were amazing. Who knew that a slime mold collected in the 1960s would still retain its structure and be recognisable under a microscope over 50 years later?!

Whilst numbers of attendees weren't huge (probably due to the weather), it was good to see a broad age range present, from keen young children to enthusiastic pensioners. And I discovered from one visitor that Dragonfly Week had been plugged on the local radio in the fortnightly wildlife spot. Yay!

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