Sunday, 29 May 2016

Emperor Explosion

Overnight between Friday night and Saturday morning at least 17 Emperor Dragonflies hatched from the pond. I found a dismembered wing, so at least one didn't make it into the air, but the calm conditions that followed the Friday evening storm were ideal for safe departures.

Barry, Friday daytime's beleaguered wing damaged individual, was still hanging around. He tried to fly and fell in the pond, so I picked him up and carried him around on my finger for a couple of hours. Saturday was the first day of the public event I am running with the National Trust and The British Dragonfly Society, so along with all the evidence of the hatch, Barry became a star attraction in capturing the attention of early visitors to Tyntesfield.

We attempted some pioneering veterinary surgery by trying to attach the found wing to Barry's withered stump with superglue, but alas our attempts failed. Various opinions were given as to how best manage Barry's end of life care (he was clearly running out of energy in front of my eyes). In the end we let him clamber on to some raspberry canes for some peace and quiet.

Over Saturday night 11 more Emperor's hatched, I visited at midnight to see it all going on, until recently I assumed it all happened in daylight hours, a magical thing to see (with the aid of an infra red camera). That brings the current tally 35 and still plenty more to come.

Barry the grounded Emperor Dragonfly. Eye damage from crash.

Barry meets visitors at Tyntesfield

A found dragonfly wing. Would it fit Barry?

Last known picture of Emperor Barry

A male Broad bodied chaser.

My first ever flying dragonfly photo. A female Broad bodied chaser.

My second ever flying dragonfly photo. Again, a female Broad bodied chaser.

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