Of Damsels and Dragons – Nature notes for July

At last some sun.. even though we had to get almost three-quarters the way through July to get it!  I’m going to start by letting you all know what the answer was to the picture quiz in last month’s Nature Notes. Here is the same spray now …. 

The answer was Kiwi Fruit !! And I shall be sending ecopies of Some Kind of Synchrony to all three who guessed correctly! The fruit still have got quite a way to grow but you can see what they are already.

And if you are here looking for the results of my Win a Kindle draw (drawn 10th July) click Here

While back in the pond things have been stirring and the dragonfly larvae have been crawling out of the pond to breakout of their last larval skin and turn into dragonflies. I spotted this ‘case’ still clinging to the pond plant it climbed out on.  The dragon fly larvae have been described as the ‘tiger of the pond’ as they are fierce predators taking down tadpoles and small fish. Some years there have been huge numbers in our pond but in recent years they have been few and far between. Perhaps this year is the start of another rise in population. Watch out tadpoles! 

Meanwhile the more delicate cousins of the dragonflies, the damselflies, were making sure there would be other types of larvae in the pond too – here two of the common Large Red damsel fly, mating. You’ll really have to click on the picture to see them clearly in their attractive red livery.

You just have to see this! One morning I was called out to the patio with  ‘Come and look in the dog’s bowl!’   The dog has a plastic water bowl out on the patio – to try to persuade her not the drink the water from the dishes under the patio pots (doesn’t work – she still prefers this water to clean fresh stuff) and, there, sitting in her half-full water bowl was …… a newt!

I guess he thought he’d found a nice personal little pond of his own. Now this is a good twenty metres from the main pond, needless to say he was transported to the pond in the bowl and released, before the dog came looking for a drink!

In the flora in July we’ve moved into some delicate purples, the meadow Cranesbill ( in the geranium family)   and the Self-heal ( Prunella vulgaris). The latter small plant so called because it is used in herbal medicine as a poultice for wounds and abrasions and as an infusion for sore throats and more. This year it has grown in profusion looking quite pretty amongst the grass.

This week’s picture quiz is this ‘common’ beastie which I didn’t recognise who, along with his brothers and sisters, was destroying one of the perennial plants in our front border. Do you know what it is? First correct answer will win an ecopy of Nothing Ever Happens Here (as a pdf)




And for my FWT? cheerleaders – weight is now 9st. 11.5 lbs – yes – that’s down a whole pound this week! Full details on the drop-down for week 30

Lastly – a series of sunsets from one evening in July – not sure I’ve seen such a stripey sky before. How about you? do you just love sunsets – have to get the camera out to capture them?  I love to hear from you !








4 thoughts on “Of Damsels and Dragons – Nature notes for July

  1. I have already received a guess on the identity of the ‘beastie’ from Liz Gentil by email – lets see what other guesses we get! – Ann

  2. Those are some glorious sunset pictures!

    I love sunsets, and often can’t resist taking photos, I have so many that I have created a folder especially for them on my computer! Not sure if that makes me mad, or sad!

    I am spoiled however, because my sitting room has an uninterrupted vista for miles to the west across a lovely valley with just a few rooftops but with rolling hills as far as the eye can see criss-crossed with hedgerows and woodlands. There is a river there also, although I can’t see that, but sometimes in the early morning I know where it is by the mist hanging over it. And yes, I feel blessed to have the gorgeous view!

    Your ‘nature’ photos are really good, and I have to say that I am impressed with your knowledge of the flora and fauna, your blog is entertaining and educational too, thanks. Glad that you managed to relocate the newt before the dog found him, perhaps he was on his holidays, with private pool, and transfer included….

  3. Hi Krissi,
    Thank you for your kind comments about my photos and the blog – the camera isn’t much but it takes a good picture generally. And as for the newt – well, you won’t believe this but today I found another, much smaller, newt in the self-same bowl! Must be the next holiday booking hehe 🙂

  4. Hi Ann
    Hi Ann
    I just love your wonderful descriptions of the countryside and all it’s bounties. It makes me feel at peace everytime I read them, and I look forward to all the fantastic photos you have taken. It’s so informative for a townie like me! As for the caterpillar, I remember when I was down here on holiday staying on a farm that my sister put one down my T-shirt and I seem to recall the farmer’s wife told me it liked verbascum plants. But I’m probably wrong.

    Anyway Ann, please keep them coming – it’s such a pleasure to read and see all these wonders of the countryside!

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