Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Fallow Stag, Knowle Park.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

** Pleasure From The Pond.**

 FRIDAY 13TH JULY: Last Friday morning I took a walk up to the pond, just check it out, and I came across one of the dragonfly larvae, it  had decided that it was time to go and find itself a mate. I  kept an eye on it, and it decided to stop halfway up the water iris leaf wings still folded as one would expect. It then started to pump fluid into it's wings and they started to open. before it could fully open it's wings and pump the fluid back into it's body, the heavens opened up. I watched it through my bins from the kitchen window, and the pond was taking a pounding. Now being such softy I wasn't sure as to whether it's legs was yet strong enough to support it, so I took a clear plastic folder out and made a canopy over the top of it. the water started to run off to the side protecting the dragonfly, whether I did the right thing of not, I am not sure, any way I went out the next morning to check on it and it was still there, same place. The weather had improved so I removed it and watched it from the window. A few hours later it's wings were fully extended and it had climbed to the top. When I returned to the pond after lunch  it had departed, so  maybe a life was saved, I like to think so, or did I do the wrong thing by interfering with nature??
The dragonfly (Southern Hawker) in question is posted below.

Whilst take waste up to the compost bin this morning I had a quick look at the pond and wo and behold there was another Southern Hawker dragonfly standing next to it's exuvia. This one was in for a better day weatherwise that the previous one. I decided to keep a close eye on this one. During my visits it was showing signs of not hanging around for any longer than it had to.
The photo below was taken at 3.22pm.

I was curious as to how long it might be before anything else might occur so a took a seat and waited. I didn't have to wait long, at 3.32pm it opened it's wings.

Now knowing that it had to start pumping fluid into them, and preparing them for it's maiden flight, I decided to take a photo of it from above.       

While I was taking this photo I noticed a insect on one of the leaves, now not knowing what it was I took a few pictures of it and checked it out in my book. The only insect that I could come up with is a Summer Chafer.

Nothing happened for a while, so having to go indoors for a short time I had to hope that nothing  more had happened just yet. I got back there and it was still there, but I did notice that it was giving it's wings  a workout.

I decided to take a few final shots. As I was about to shoot the dragonfly then proceded to wash it's face, well that is what it looked like, or was it playing peek a boo!   (see below.)

Then at 5.21pm it had it's final wash and brush up, gave it's wings a good thrashing before leaving the plant, hovering for a fraction of a second then  flying off  and a rate of knots over our roof and off into the big wide world.
Is that the only species I have got in my pond, or there any different ones? only time will tell. Am I happy with what I have, very much so! 


  1. Great account Ken, keep an eye on that pond. Last summer we had 28 Southern Hawkers emerge from our pond with a max of 5 in one day .Good luck.

  2. Wonderful photos to go along with your observations. How great to have that in your backyard.

  3. Ken ,
    Great read and shots .
    Quite often heavy rain during emergence can damage the already wet wings or cause them to stick together , so your helping had was probably appreciated , certainly wouldn't have done any harm .
    Would be pretty sure that you have had or will have a few more species emerge from the pond .
    Found a Southern Hawker at High Elms yesterday too .

  4. JR & Sue.
    Thanks for your nice comment.

    Mike H.
    I good number of Southern Hawkers that emerged from your pond, what I wouldn't give for 5 a day, I would be happy with a couple.

    Thank you for appreciating my photo's, I try.

    Cheers cheers mate, I am glad that some one agree's with what I did to protect the Dragonfly, as for other species, I hope there are other species in there.

  5. I reckon you did the right thing Ken, after all, there are hungry hobbies that need feeding out there! :-)

  6. What an interesting post Ken, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I think you definitely did the right thing. Our wildlife needs all the help it can get this year. Great set of photos too! And Summer Chafer definitely looks right to me.

  7. Excellent post Ken. Never found a Southern Hawker at New Hythe, so can you shoo a few over if you get some more.

  8. Hi Ken, just come across your great site, have added you to my blog list, and will now be following you. regards Gary

  9. Hi Ken ,

    Just noticed the first one emerging from our pond today at 16.00. Unfortunately had to go out so could not get any shots. Will look tomorrow to see if it made its maiden flight!!