One thing we looked for when searching for a new home was a smaller garden. Seems strange as most people want a bigger plot, yet we wanted to spend more time enjoying things and not tied to endless chores (one and a half hours lawn cutting in our last place!). Our new garden suited us fine despite it being neglected for a while and needing a lot of clearing and chopping back. It’s about a third the size of the previous plot but joy of joys it has a pond! I’ve always wanted a wildlife pond (no fish) but have been too lazy to dig one, now I’m spending ages watching the comings and goings instead of getting on with other jobs.
I was delighted when I saw the first dragonfly appear and a little pond dipping revealed they had made use of the feature before, in among the weed and mud were several dragon and damselfly nymphs. One day two exuvia (cast shells) were on an iris leaf, a darter and hawker, we had had babies!
To date I have noted six species of odonata and egg laying by Common Darter and Southern Hawker. Dragons are not the only visitors. I’ve seen baby newts, a frog and lots of other bugs.
I was delighted with the sixth species of dragon it was a Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis). This damselfly only colonised the UK in about 2009 but is spreading across the country. It lays it’s eggs in branches overhanging the water. The larva when they emerge then drop down and continue development underwater. Will it use the dogwood? Probably not but it’s lovely to see one here.
Anyway must get on, jobs to do and ponds to watch!