After I’d been around the village this afternoon and taken a lot of middling photos of insects I didn’t care about very much, I thought I ought to do something useful, so I got a net and skimmed the ponds of fallen leaves and blanket weed. I lifted a really interesting invertebrate out of the patio pond, and it was only after I’d freed it from the net and popped it back into the water that it occurred to me that I hadn’t photographed it, and it would have made a more interesting post that anything I’d snapped so far. Doh!
Shaking my head at myself, I wandered on down the garden and set to work on the wildlife pond, but as I knelt down and leaned over to get some fallen leaves and twigs, I heard the tell-tale rustling of dragonfly wings just to my right, and turned to find a Southern Hawker ovipositing in the log pile. Looking round wildly for the camera, I realised that I’d left it on the kitchen table. Calamity! Scrambling to my feet and throwing the net aside, I ran – literally ran, something no-one has seen me do in about a decade – back to the house, grabbed the camera, and ran back – only to find that she’d gone.
I was sitting on the bench, getting my breath back and berating myself for being an idiot, when she reappeared, circled the pond, flew over and took a look at me (“Well hello!! There you are! Sorry if I startled you!”), then returned to the log pile and set to work again. I stalked her carefully for the next ten minutes, at the end of which she lifted, flew a circuit around me, circled the pond one more time, and left. The last time I saw a Southern Hawker ovipositing in our garden was six weeks ago, and I haven’t seen one in the village at all for about ten days, so I was absolutely thrilled to find that they’re still around and that the little habitat we created is still being visited. I don’t mind admitting that the encounter left me a little emotional. And that I did the Crash Bandicoot dance.
I haven’t done much mono work recently, because nature shots tend to lend themselves to colour, but I noticed that this week’s Mono Monday theme is “In and out”, which is a pretty good description of the way a Southern Hawker oviposits, so I’ve converted this image and offer it as my entry for the challenge.