Darters or Hawkers

I heard the mechanical clacking of its wings as it skimmed low over the water, dark and swollen from the recent rain. It stopped and then with an extraordinary precision flew vertically upwards.

I staggered down the rain slippery bank, being tugged and pulled by an enthusiastic Gabby. Lilly the collie was already in the water lapping greedily at the brown peaty water. Gabby stopped at the waters edge and sipped the water, placing a paw into the murky peat stained brew. She looked at me and decided against a paddle so sat down at the marshy and boggy edge.

The dragon fly clattered back low across the water, then rose again gaining height. It headed towards me, circled me and then stopped in front of me. I could see in detail it’s metallic blue and turquoise body, and its four wings operating so effortlessly together.

It was checking me out. Like a spy drone in miniature, it hovered in front of me, it’s bulbous eyes scanning deep inside me, searching out clues about me, and then satisfied that I posed no threat or that I could not be eaten, it was gone.

Then it was gone.

This strange alien creature that has roamed the earth for three hundred million years, showed an interest in me. Just for a few precious seconds I was part of his world. As the dogs and I staggered ,growled and barked our way around the old reservoir where now trees and scrub have broken down and covered the concrete and rock, I wondered who really was the alien?

Later I settled down in front of my laptop and checked out dragon flies. There are many different species, up to 30 in the UK and over 6,000 world wide. They are the oldest and fastest insects on the planet.  Of course their numbers are declining, as their habitat, ponds, marshy ground and wetlands are lost, so the old reservoir with its three marshy and boggy ponds is ideal dragonfly country.

Lets hope this beautiful and vital piece of wilderness is left alone as a refuge for wildlife.

 

 

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