Out of the water, into the air

Last summer we were delighted when our newly made pond brought in damselflies and dragonflies. One of the most engaging was the Broad-bodied Chaser. He had read the book which said “He regularly returns to the same perch after swift flights out across the water” as that is exactly what he did – adopting a horizontal twig on a hazel stump from which he did regular patrols round the pond.

His residency must have included a successful relationship as today a nymph crawled from the water, for some reason traversed a meter or so of grass, before choosing a stalk for its metamorphosis.

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Very slowly its wings began to expand

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In this vulnerable state the colour and shape of the wings blended with the surrounding grass stems

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and from above, while its head was spectacular in colour and shape, it was also very similar to the surrounding Meadow Buttercup buds

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It took about an hour and a half to prepare – no movement was apparent but its shape and colour were constantly changing

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Eventually her (this is a female) wings parted slightly

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before suddenly flicking open to full spread

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Then it was off, leaving the empty exuvia still clinging to the grass

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White out

Today we have mainly been seeing white

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and a bit of orange

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May needs to be rationed

Actually, there may be people who live in a place where the year-round climate is like a May day in Wales. If so, I bet they don’t appreciate it.

Having come through six months of gales, mud, frost, snow and darkness we can appreciate it properly:

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Feeling the Heat

It is quite unusual, here in the West, to be walking without wellies and worrying about the sun.

Working our way through the Kingdoms…

All plants have no worries about the sun
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The more light the better
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and light and heat mean reaching for the skies
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All water turns green as plant life there multiplies
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and the invertebrates seem happy too.

The more sun, the more buzz
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and a chance to refuel for the flight home
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the Bumbles seem happy too
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Only when we reach the ducks do we find some hesitance
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Our nearest relatives
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start off finding the spot for maximum absorbtion
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before moving to the shade
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Who knows what sheep think
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Take me to the water

“Provide the habitat and the living things will come” has been a truism but now reading Mark Cocker’s Our Place

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a fascinating autopsy of the state of our wildlife does beg the response – ok, if it has somewhere to come from.

However, creating a pond and watching

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it fill with activity

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must be one of the most satisfying experiences ever.

Eighteen months ago it was a hole in the ground

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slowly filling up

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A year ago it was ringed by barren earth

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Two months ago it was frozen over

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Now it could almost be called mature

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Each day another water lily leaf surfaces

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trying to Monet-ise the water

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This pond, known as “The Lake” is pond number three. We inherited two and the water lilies come from a metre diameter tub which is crammed with them and…

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Newts

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Our bees

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come to The Lake to suck water from the moss at the edge

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Meanwhile pond number four awaits development in a completely different place

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