Awe inspiring, prehistoric and gloriously free. Last week we were lucky to have three Southern hawker dragonflies (Aeshna cyanea) emerge from the pond. The scale is difficult to gauge from these pictures, but the wingspan is about 4 inches from tip to tip.

Affter waiting in the depths of the pond, feeding on invertebrates for perhaps two years, they emerge to enjoy their short summer lives. A few weeks at the best time of the year.

I think these may be females-the males tend to be bluer. I hope at least one returns to lay her eggs in the pond.

Please click the pictures to enlarge them.

in a scarlet cloak

Basking in a few days of summer sunshine, the living things in and around the little kingdom that is the pond are busy with the frantic routine of their short lives. I joined them for a little while this afternon, enjoying the warmth and gentlenessof a lovley day, and a gap in my own frenetic routine.

The pond is quite green, but seems to be supporting a large number of tadpoles just at the stage of becoming froglets. It is about 12 weeks since they were nothing more than jelly.  (And yes I did raise a few in an aquarium and released them into the pond in my front garden!) Several were clinging to the sides of the pond and large numbers were swimming happily in the water, in the amphibian equivalent of children at the seaside.

While I watched, a Large Red Damselfy, Pyrrhosoma nymphula, came and sat on the edge of a water lily leaf. This one is probably a male, and as with all damselflies, it rests with its wings held along the body, and not at right angles, as dragonflies do. His body was a rich metallic red that glinted in the sunshine, and his eyes were amber. Take a look.