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 !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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