No-one would have believed we’d be blessed with the best summer for decades. No-one would’ve believed the sun would remain untarnished by solemn skies and rainfall. For a dragonfly enthusiast it’s been a summer to cherish.
The instinct to soak it all up is irresistible, and slightly dangerous. Too much sunshine can wear out even the most active soul, and I’ve bitten off just a little bit more than I perhaps should have.
A foolish seven mile trek in search of rare delights; an even more foolish search for a pond which turned out to be almost dry.
However these are lessons which stop us in our tracks to sit back and regroup. Take a little time out. Choose locations where you don’t have to expend unnecessary energy by staying glued to one spot.
With the unsheltered shallow ponds of the heath drying out it makes sense to choose running water. A short section of a New Forest stream is ideal to just sit back and take it all in.
Endless hours in the company of some of the New Forest favourites. Those boisterous Keeled Skimmers who like nothing more than a scuffle with opponents twice their size. With the Golden-ringed they can get away with it. Try it with an Emperor and they’ll end up as lunch.
Beautiful Demoiselles cascading above while Southern Damselflies go about their business below. Finding mates, copulating and ovipositing seemingly ignoring the fracas.
Look closely and you will see they have their own battles to fight. Likewise the Small Red decorating the Bog Myrtle – worryingly drying out beyond the immediate shoreline.
The introduction of a female Golden-ringed flying in to find a safe place to oviposit is a sight to behold. She has an instinct to find the best place to lay her eggs regardless of the dangers she would usually avoid.
Usually preferring the dark & shady hollows beneath the over-hanging Bog-myrtle or Bramble to avoid predation and the attention of patrolling males who occasionally get lucky.
Forget the camera – just watch for a while. Fifteen minutes of your time can witness so much more if you attempt to understand their timescale. Lives lived much faster than ours, and over in an instant comparatively.
If you feel your life is moving too fast spend a few hours at a stream and relax. Suddenly your hectic life has just slowed down and been put into perspective. Life’s much faster around here.