Posted by: Ross Gardner | May 11, 2013

Another spring milestone

The Odonata season is underway.  While some insects may wave a tentative wing into the fading winter chill of mild February and March days, the dragonflies and damselflies are most firmly fixed as creatures of the established spring and summer to follow.

It is towards the weedy ponds that the hopeful eye of any would-be St George may optimistically look during those last days of April and the early ones of spring, for that first flicker of sun-twinkling wings;  for the first Large Red Damselfly to break from cover from the rush-fringed edge.  This might be its maiden flight, still pallid and dun, with its colour yet to wash through its body.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).  Copyright 2012 Ross Gardner.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula). Copyright 2012 Ross Gardner.

With the Large Reds things are firmly underway.  The Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies will not be long to follow, and perhaps also the dragons proper.  The Hairy Dragonfly will often be the first, an insect that in recent years has expanded its range considerably in England and Wales.  An early flyer indeed, but a May 3rd fly-by on a warm Essex afternoon was nevertheless a pleasant surprise.

The dragons are on the wing and that long winter seems that much further behind us.

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