Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Bright Turquoise Damselfly

Today we visited a private garden open to the public.... which included tea on the terrace afterwards.  But although the garden was full of winding paths, and what we saw were many different Acers, Roses, hardy Geraniums, Iris amongst other things, what fascinated us the most were these beautiful creatures.  The colour really was staggering - iridiscent  turquoise.  But no picture I found did them proper justic.  They were about 2 inches long, and just like little pieces of jewellery. At one point there were 9 or 10 flitting around in front of our eyes, but none stayed still long enough to get a pic.  Had to dig around to find out exactly what they were, but found this on the Canal & River Trust website.  Here's what they say:


Damselflies are brightly coloured insects who, like dragonflies, are acrobatic masters of the air as they hunt for their prey.
Damselfly, courtesy of Karen Arnold Damselfly, courtesy of Karen Arnold

Damselflies are delicate and very thin and fold their wings back over their bodies at rest. You can sometimes spot clouds of them flitting over the water surface and amongst vegetation on sunny days. They feed mainly on mosquitoes, midges and larger insects.
The reed fringes of many of our canals and rivers provide excellent breeding sites and hunting grounds for damselflies - our maintenance programme involves the creation and improvement of canal banks with damselflies in mind.
In the past, any work on canal banks would have involved steel sheet piles. Today, with our greater emphasis on habitat creation, soft banks are created either using coir roles or hazel faggots. This allows the growth of reed fringes, ideal habitats for many species of insects, particularly damselflies.

 Sometimes it is pure luck to be in the right place at the right time..... and we were today.

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