Six weeks ago we were excited to report the arrival of the first real dragonfly at our new pond.
We learned how Libellula depressa “returns to a favoured perch in the sun”
and eventually “when a female enters a male’s territory the male will fly up and grab the female. Mating occurs on the wing and the pair are in tandem for only a brief period, often less than a minute”
So we excited to be there two days ago for that minute. So excited we didn’t manage to take a picture until the female danced over the water, depositing eggs on the floating foliage
Like the rest of the UK, we are acutely aware of butterfly decline. Memories of the past when every buddleia was clouded in a haze of Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and Peacocks.
We have had one Red Admiral mooching around for a couple of months and then, yesterday, five newly hatched individuals on the buddleia
This stumbled across our doorstep a few nights ago.
A group of youngsters had been roaming around a couple of weeks ago but this one, at 125g, was obviously failing to thrive. Taken into protective custody it is now up to 168g – on the way to being a big hog.
Meanwhile this hog
should be full of babies (if we got the AI right)
We will find out in a week’s time…
If it was a proper hay harvest it would be a full moon but these couple of sunny days are the cue to cut down the grass
and rush out the machinery
to scrape it into plastic bags as quickly as possible.
The Kite looks on hopefully
We inspect the bees
Honey production is in full swing
so we give them dedicated space
and leave them to it
Damselflies enjoy the sun
and we add touches to make our imminent new arrivals feel at home
As the sun goes down tonight
We have the bedroom
We have the defences
Soon we will be ready
The July sunshine brings out the silage contractors
and encourages Claire to carry on teaching dust-bathing
This one has the moves but lacks the dust