Ten for ten

These days I quite often find myself wondering if it might be time to reassess some of my life choices… but never when I’m out photographing Odonata.

Realising this morning that my ten-year blipversary coincided with a warm and sunny day that promised good dragoning, and having been told by R to forget all the things urgently needing doing at home and “JUST GO!”, I did a quick calculation and decided to take a chance on the river and lakes at Ripple providing me with ten species for this milestone post. In the event I spotted nine there, across a contented and mindful couple of hours, and later in the day I found the tenth at one of the ponds in the Community Orchard at Cleeve Prior. From left to right, and from top to bottom, the species are:

Common Clubtail (Gomphus vulgatissimus)
White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes)
Hairy Dragonfly ovipositing (Brachytron pratense)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
Blue-tailed Damselflies in cop (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselflies ovipositing in tandem (Erythromma najas)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

In the interests of journalistic integrity, I must confess here that the Black-tailed Skimmer was shot on an earlier occasion – the individual I saw today proved too fast for me to capture – but in my defence, the photo was taken at Ripple. As well as the Large Red Damselfly, the ponds at Cleeve Prior gave me a tantalising glimpse of a small hawker that I think can only have been a Hairy Dragonfly – which is an exciting thought, because this species only arrived in Worcestershire about five years ago. I hope that I’ll be able to prove that sighting very soon.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve completed ten years of rampant daily attention-seeking blogging, but I’ve just checked back to the start of this journal, and bar a couple of days (because Blipfoto has no truck with leap years), it is indeed a decade. I’ve met some lovely people (both on and off line), had great fun, learned a lot, and developed an absolute passion for photographing wildlife, especially insects and birds. Thanks, as ever, are due to everyone who takes the trouble to read my rambles and rants, to the back-room crew who keep this site running, and most especially to R, for accepting my need to be almost constantly off out photographing things with (mostly) grace and good humour.


R: C1 D10.