Not jumpy

Another crazy day – with light, at least, but (yet again) no time. To add to my frustration, the male Banded Demoiselle I managed to photograph on Tuesday, who’s now become an almost permanent fixture in the top garden, decided this morning that I was a Dangerous Predator.

“Oh, mate,” I said. “Look. It’s me. The same person you let within inches of you the other day. I didn’t eat you then, and I’m not about to eat you now. (Not when I’ve got mini Melton Mowbray pork pies in the fridge.) Look, just calm down will you? There. That’s be- what?? Where’ve you gone now??? Oh… be like that then.”

He was, just like that then. Repeatedly. Luckily, this female Speckled Bush Cricket was less jumpy – which, to be fair, they usually are. That’s to say, they can jump, if pushed to it, but generally they’d rather stride rapidly away on those long legs and disappear into the depths of the nearest foliage. Luckily this one didn’t do that either, and thus became one of only two inverts I managed to catch on camera today. The other was a tiny black Eumerus hoverfly, and though the photos I took of her were technically better than this one, she wasn’t of herself especially inchrestin’ – so the cricket it is.

For the record, we’ve now reached the tea-time hawker stage of the summer: at 6pm (by which time the light had gone right off, sadly) there were two semi-mature Southern Hawkers flying hunting circuits around our wild garden – which, being ringed with mature trees, resembles the kind of woodland glades they favour. I grabbed a few poor record shots for the County Recorder, and then just stood and enjoyed the display – fascinated, as ever, by their speed and manoeuvrability, and by the way they like to work the boundary between light and shade. I’ve seen this so many times now, over different generations of these dragons, that it’s clearly an inbuilt instinct, and I can only assume that their eyesight has evolved to work in conditions where that of their prey is less effective, giving them even more of a hunting advantage.

R: C3, D1.

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