As it turned out, the nature was more interested in investigating me, because I had only just taken my cup of tea outside, when a huge brown hawker flew right up to me, looked me in the eye, before settling on my arm for a split second with an eerie tickling sensation.
Normally you associate southern hawkers with this sort of behaviour, having a brown behave like this was very strange. After looking me up, it resumed its peculiarly square circuits around the children's park, bronze wings glittering in the sun..
After my tea I went down to the river, where it was another species of dragon that was putting on a display. After being virtually invislble, the lovely red male common darters were out on the river, and being very sporty too. I watched as one individual took a perch on a riverside plant and launched itself like a heat seeking missile at any other male that came within a few metres before returning victorious to his throne.
What he was competing for was going one behind him, by the semi submerged tree trunk that has been a landmark on the River Devon as long as I can remember. A male common darter was supporting a female as she flitted her backside to ovipost her eggs onto a water plant of some kind.
I've seen this done before at Langford, but it such an odd sight you never quite get used to it, I think! The female just hangs there from the tip of the male's abdomen, dipping her bum just below the surface of the water with little flicks. She clearly had a lot of eggs to deposit, because she carried on for ten minutes as a shoal of roach glopped by, blowing bubbles on the surface of the otherwise mirror calm river.
Nature was having a busy day down the park!
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 11.08.15
|Some serious bikes here|
|Two grand each most of these, I'd say|
|Red arrows gave us a fly by|
|Marigolds are just going over, but the bees still love them|
|Still lots of colour|
|Really big new queen here|
|Cyclists are off|
|Where the dragons fought, and loved|