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!