Saturday, 5 June 2010

Damsel(fly) in Distress...

Even though I had a list of chores that needed doing, it was far too warm and muggy to do much. I elected to go kayaking instead.

I took my homemade underwater camera housing, but the water was murky, churned up by the passing narrowboats.

At the margins of the water, amongst the reeds and weeds it was a little clearer, but the fish I had intended to film had been spooked by boat propellers.

After a few miles of paddling I stopped for a snack. The damselflies were busy doing what damselflies do. These 'Large Red Damselflies' (Pyrrhosoma Nymphula) were quite striking with their bright red eyes. Although they're called 'large reds' they're actually very small, much smaller than the more common blue or green specimens.

This tiny chappess laying eggs on a twig is one of the smaller species (Ischnura Elegans).
In my eagerness to get a closer photo I scared the poor thing and it hastily took flight...

...straight into a spiders web. The spider was all of a fluster. It really wasn't sure whether it wanted this flying predator tangled in its trap, and quickly hid behind a leaf.

Carefully, I teased the damselfly free and let it perch on my finger.

It gave itself a good preening and carried out a few pre-flight checks.

It was a cute little thing. With a cock of its head as if to say 'thanks', or perhaps 'thanks for nothing', it was off, skimming the water, and dancing with its friends.

It was time for me to be off too. Homeward bound on my mirrored carriageway...

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