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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