New pond, new stunning dragonfly…

At last – this week the sun has appeared and with it a load of different insects have descended on my garden. Bees, butterflies and hover-flies of all types are now busy buzzing round the flowers. However, this afternoon we had an unexpected but seemingly-friendly visitor.

Female Southern Hawker Dragonfly

I’d been trying to film grasshoppers in the “top meadow”. I say meadow, it’s really just a small patch of uncut grass with a few wildflowers. Anyway, I was lugging my lump of a camera and tripod back down the garden past the new pond when I spotted something sitting on one of the small trees.

It was massive (no exaggeration!) and definately the biggest dragonfly I’ve seen, about 75-80mm in length (about the length of a small mobile phone). I’m not kidding, as it sat there it literally shimmered in the late afternoon sun. Such a show off – but hey I think I’d do the same if I looked like that!

Anyway, I hastily set up the camera and started filming. Then I crept nearer, then nearer, then even nearer. It didn’t seem to mind at all.

In the end I went in to make cauliflower cheese for dinner (a speciality of mine – who said the art of cooking was dead…) but popped out again (while the pots were bubbling) to take a few stills photos. It seemed more than happy for me to get almost within touching distance to take these couple of shots – however I’ve read that people have actually been attacked by Southern Hawkers (they go for your eyes, don’t you know). Pretty wimpy being attacked by a dragonfly.. don’t you think?

Lastly, here is the film I shot, it’s only a minute long (so wont take long to watch!) and edited together so that you hopefully get some idea of it’s size and beauty. Fingers crossed now that it comes back… and soon!

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25 thoughts on “New pond, new stunning dragonfly…

  1. Hi Tricia. I’d literally just pressed the button to add the post and there was your comment! Quick work! Thanks for your comment though and I’m adding your blog to my reading list…

  2. WOW! Jane, that’s beautiful!
    Our pond had a visitor that size when we lived in a Welsh council estate, but it was golden in colour. Had to pick it up to protect it from cats, and it just sat on my hand for a bit. I saw my reflection in its eyes, and it was heavy! Wonderful experience.
    As yours is a female, maybe she’ll lay. I do hope so!

  3. Great capture. That is one monstrous dragonfly. And I loved the video. It was really clean and detailed. Gave a good idea as to the size of the dragonfly. I’ve been thinking of taking a few dragonfly videos and adding them to my blog.

  4. I forgot to add a comment about the ‘attacks’. I guess that is possible, but I think most often people mistake a natural action by insects and other creatures as an ‘attack’. The dragonflies in question were likely just seeking to capture small flying insects which often hover around a person’s face.

    It’s funny how some of the old tales live on. In many countries of the Western world dragonflies were frequently associated with evil things such as the devil or evil spirits while in Asia were mostly associated with peace and tranquility.

  5. Hi Dragonstar. I must admit I’ve never held a dragonfly in my hand, but then I guess you are “dragonstar” so maybe you have special powers! I’ve never thought of them as being “heavy”… how weird. I hope she does come back, dragonflies in the pond next year would be a real treat.

  6. Hi Baker. Thanks for visiting. I’m guessing (looking at your blog) that you are in the USA. Lovely pond you have there! Mine is very much smaller… Thanks for your comments about the film. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hope it inspires you to do something similar. I’d love to see film of some of your dragons. I’ve never thought of dragonflies as being “evil” – far too beautiful, I’m all for the Asian view!

  7. Hi Jane,
    This really is rather special. I am so pleased that the pond is being so successful in such a short space of time. Inspirational for the rest of us to really stop and see (not just look). Many thanks.

  8. Hi Steve. It certainly is… I’m really pleased with it (I can’t imagine the garden without it now). Well worth all the digging that the V-team and you did! There’s always room for more wildlife – no snakes, weasels or dormice yet!

  9. Hi Jane. What a beauty! Lets hope the pond was the big attraction for her and that, as said before, you will have lots more in the future. YOu never know.

  10. Thanks Sis. I saw a dragon fly over today (it didn’t stop… obviously on the way somewhere) but I’m forever hopeful that one will stop again. xx

  11. Hi Paula. I sat by the pond in the sun today and watched all the little things wriggling around in the water. God knows what they all were but I am certainly going to have to get myself a sieve and bucket… pond-dipping here I come!

  12. Gday Jane.
    What a lovely post, photos AND video!
    Your “top meadow” sounds like my (6′ square) “Lower Paddock”.
    Anna saw a Dragonfly on the fence this week whilst I was at work (an Emperor by her description) and I’ve had them fly over all week – but one hasn’t landed yet.
    Never mind eh? Your post has more than made up for it!
    Doug

  13. Hi Doug. Yes, the top meadow is really no more than a bit off lawn left to it’s own devices. I need to spread some Yellow Rattle on it this year to reduce the strength of the grass… too much grass not enough wildflowers! Hope you have a dragonfly stopping by soon… you will have to dig yourself a pond!

  14. Hi Sara. I like the way you put that “never know what I might spot”. Makes it sound like my blog is like going for a walk in the country. I really like that idea!

  15. Hi Jane, as you’ll well know add water to a garden and the wildlife flock in. Great photo of a Southern Hawker. Thanks for the note re Saturday. Sadly, without adding detail, I’ll not be in Dorset much as my partner and I have split up, so i’m back in North Somerset. I’ll still be down as much as I can not as regular as before. One day I’ll get to your field trips.

  16. Sorry to hear your news Border Reiver, and that you won’t be in Dorset much. It’s a shame we never managed to meet up – however, never say never!

  17. Thanks Neil. It was a bit of a surprise… I’d never heard of a green/blue southern hawker either. It is still in the garden. A bit faded now but still defending it’s territory. It flys right up to me and hovers in front of my eyes…

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