More Pond Life

I try and post once a week(ish) and usually have a topic in mind.  Now, if I get to go out unexpectedly and get some images I’m really pleased with a curved ball is tossed in my direction.  What to do?  As you lovely people have had an overdose of butterfly shots just lately I will stick to the original plan, especially as things have happened in the last few days.  Intrigued?  Carry on reading.

Those of you who have been with me for a while will know when we moved home late last year we ‘inherited’ a garden pond, no fish this is just for wildlife.  It needed a bit of sorting out and I added a lot of plants.  Now the work is starting to bear fruit.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

As well as the butterflies, during the warm months (🤣🤣😂) I am fascinated by dragonflies.  Our spring here in Norfolk, as well as most of the UK, just hasn’t got going.  The dragons and damsels (odonata) are at least three weeks late.  For spring butterflies to suffer poor weather will mean next year the numbers will crash.  The dragons can delay emergence under water until things are better, sometimes up to a year.  However late last week we had a visit from the first Large Red Damselfly.

Helophilus pendulus also known as the Footballer Hoverfly due to it’s stripey thorax supposedly resembling a soccer shirt, yeah ok
Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata). Lovely to see one of my plant introductions in flower and such a beautiful flower it is

The exciting events started this week with the first Large Red Damselfly emerging.  I noticed the very pale damsel hanging from an old Iris stem.  At this stage they are known as teneral, it takes a day or so to attain full colour.

Morning reflection

Monday morning it was cool and grey.  I went for my daily look at the pond and to say “Hi” to the newts (yes, I’m loosing it).  There hanging from an Iris a freshly emerged Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)!  I was ecstatic.  Rushed indoors to get the camera and Mrs H so I could record the event.

The dragonfly was in an awkward spot to photograph. An hour earlier and I would have witnessed the actual emergence.  The little white threads coming from the exuvia are the breathing tubes
The sun came through early afternoon. This allowed the dragon to open her wings into the normal position and inflate them. An hour later she had taken her first flight. The female can be told by the shape of the anal appendages, these are the two tiny points on the tip of the abdomen. Female Broad-bodied Chasers will become a bright gold colour whilst males will produce a substance called pruinescence which turns them blue

41 thoughts on “More Pond Life

  1. Excellent pictures and good to know that pond live takes its course. You will see a lot of these Broad-bodied Chasers in the next years. In summer there is always a male around to defend the territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous photos Brian. I can imagine how excited you were to catch that chaser emerging. Also, that hoverfly is obviously a Hull City supporter… (They/we only come out when we’re winning! 🐯 League One champions! 😊)

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  3. Excellent photos and good to know the wildlife is pushing through. Things have been delayed and scarce up here too, and worse further North. Hopefully we are due a bit more Summer weather and things will start to catch up.

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  4. That’s quite an interesting blog, Brian and what a life you have there in your pond!
    The even just-too-late emergence is something exciting to experience. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to photograph the complete emergence. Hope you can witness this one day.
    Thanks for sharing your excellent photos, I loved watching them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Greta, many thanks. I am checking the pond a bit earlier in the morning now but our friend the weather has decided to change for the worse (again!) so I don’t expect any more arrivals just yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Quite intriguing – can rightly say this is the first I’ve seen of a “hatching” of a dragon if that is what they call it. I also had no idea the damsels have delayed coloring. Learned something today thanks. Oh, and I absolutely love the looks of that Bogbean – like a fuzzy poodle flower ha. Great post.

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  6. One more apology for the long absence. I picked a good time to return!

    Wow! Your pond is finding favor with the locals. At least the Missus knows where to find you when you go missing. 🙂

    Wonderful photographs of, well, everything! That Bogbean bloom is quite unique. A Large Red Damselfly, in your yard! As if that isn’t special enough, a chance to see and photograph a Broad-bodied Chaser emergence!!

    Thank you for sharing a bit of beauty with us!

    (Personal note for Brian: There is no such thing as “an overdose of butterfly shots”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully you can’t overdose on butterfly images as I have a few more in the pipeline!
      The pond is a great place to just relax and watch the comings and goings, hopefully it’s only just got started.
      Thanks for the drop by, have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post Brian! Still nothing to be seen around here and moreover it has rained for about about 2 days straight a few days back so the butterflies are not coming out though occasionally a Common Mormon or a Common Jay is seen around here.

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