Dragonflies

River Dart Enchantment

A few pictures from yesterdays ‘enchantment’ on the Dart river.

I was too intent on looking for Beautiful Demoiselles to have much time or attention for anything else.

I noticed the Red Devons in the river but only got to them as they were coming out. But one obliging chap stayed in

Drinking the Dart 2

He stood in the water for well over 10 minutes obviously enjoying the river cooling him down (not that it was a particularly sweltering day)

And now he’s having another drink of river Dart sparkling champagne.

Drinking the Dart

I was seeing quite a few butterflies flitting about but felt I had to keep my attention focused on finding those Demoiselles

Here’s a fairly common butterfly (but new, and therefore uncommon, to me)

Gatekeeper Aug 2017

That’s called a ‘Gatekeeper’. He seemed to be guarding those flowers there (help! what are they called Haze?!)

I could hear a buzzards high pitched keening call from above but he was too high and too far away for me to get a clear image of.

But I could get decent (or indecently) close pics of these Demoiselles. This is the male (far more beautiful than the plainer female)

Beautiful Demioselle male 2

These Beautiful Demoiselles have made my summer they have.

Well, so far. Until some other marvel magics the moment I happen to be sauntering into next.

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Beautiful Demoiselles (on the river Dart)

Out for a walk down the river Dart yesterday afternoon. Shock! Horror! It actually felt like a summer day for a change (we’re not seeing enough sun, feeling enough heat this year down in Devon)

I wasn’t expected much.

But then I got everything I wanted.

Beautiful Demoiselles!

That’s the actual name of these damselflies: “Beautiful Demoiselles”

How lucky am I?! The afternoon was transformed.

I got into my zone of intent absorption looking for these ‘beauties’ with my camera.

First there was a bronze green female. Then a bigger blue black male fluttered up.
I was having to be patient, use stealth, to get close enough up to them to get good vid.

And meanwhile the steam train was tootle tootling back and forth.

And the buzzard was up there above hunting and swooping.

And a little herd of Red Devon cows descended into the water to drink a refreshing bellyful of river.

My mood moved out of neutral into slightly enthralled.

A bit of Thursday afternoon enchantment on the Dart river with the Beautiful Demoiselles.

Boodiful! (as they say down here)

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Little Bradley Ponds

First visit on Saturday to Little Bradley Ponds near Bovey Tracey. Apparently its ‘dragonfly heaven’.

The morning sun had already been obscured by thick wodges of cloud by the time we got there (around 11) We sit on the spongy rim of the pond munching our hogs pud sarnies staring out at the gentle pitter patter of rain on the lily pads. No dragonflies today.

Today the forecast is better, so we shoot up there again; plonk ourselves down on the rim of the pond again with hogs pud and bacon sarnies, flask of coffee, flapjacks, hoola hoops. And wait.

Here they come, flashing around everywhere: dancing red darters ovipositing; and chasing emperors (or southern hawkers, we still aren’t sure which) hunting. The thrill that wasn’t here yesterday is back again as the hawkers whizz around our heads so fast. Its almost impossible to get the camera on them.

Big clots of clouds keep blotting out the sun. The sun-sense in the dragonflies is so acute they immediately stop flying; it’s like they need the sun’s light for their eyes and the sun’s warm in their wings to come alive.

It’s peaceful here though. No walkers hording around. No dogs. No kids screeching. We’ve got this dragonfly pond all to ourselves. It’s ours. We’ve claimed it for the day.

This pond has got a little island centering it, and lily pads polka dotting the surface. It’s surrounded and sheltered by trees. On a hot sunny summer day this pond would indeed be dragonfly heaven.

And it’s not been too bad today either. I’m getting enough glimpses of these greeny blue whizzers to make this vid.

By 4 o’clock we’ve packed up and gone – whizzing back to Torquay in a trice. Feeling like we’ve got what we went for: a lovely dragonfly afternoon of peace and tranquility. Another ‘gold medal moment’.

A place to return to. Next spring perhaps. With a tent.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet