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Snuffle, snuffle, snuffle…

Cough, cough…

Grumble, mutter, sniff……

I have a virus. The problem with this is that my immune system is – to quote the correct medical terminology – all to cock. This means that I don’t usually get a cold the way most people get cold, and the way I used to get colds: I generally get a thing that doesn’t fully arrive, but sits around causing annoyance for two or three weeks before I can say reasonably confidently that it’s left again. The last virus I got properly put me in bed for two days with a temperature of 102° – this is nowhere near that bad, but it’s bad enough that I feel pretty rotten.

I am about as far away from Little Nell as you could imagine when I’m under the weather – Alien with a bad hangover would be closer to the mark. I should really be made to carry a bell, and ring it to warn people to keep away – not because I’m unduly infectious, but so that they don’t make the mistake of trying to hold a conversation with me. After sitting around in a scowling heap all morning, doing rubbish on line and listening to political podcasts, while R delivered regular cups of Earl Grey and remarked sympathetically on the heat radiating from my person, I decided to shape myself and go out. Because if I didn’t go out, I wouldn’t have been out, and I knew that in the end not having been out would make me even crosser.

Grafton Wood seemed like a good idea until I arrived, when it began raining. Luckily the shower passed quite quickly, but being quite cold and very windy it definitely wasn’t Brown Hairstreak weather, so I went to the pond in the hope of dragons. After a while the sun came out (patchily), and with it a clutch of Emerald Damselflies, including this tandem pair. The extra shows them as I first spotted them; she was ovipositing into the reed, while he protected his investment from several unattached males that were keen to displace him. Every few minutes he would move her to a different location, and although the one in my main image wasn’t a good choice in terms of her being able to place her eggs, it was the closest they came to me, and I was able to get several shots that I think show quite nicely the difference between the male and female of this species.

During the brief appearances of the sun a couple of Southern Hawkers would turn up and work the pond, before disappearing again when the cloud cover returned; my best flight shot of the day is here, if you’d like to see it. It’s perhaps not my best work, but in case you hadn’t heard, I’m ill….