Despite not posting for nearly 3 weeks, I have been kept busy during the evenings by studying the dragonfly and damselfly nymphs in my indoor tanks as well as looking in on whats happening in the pond after dark. A few of the Hairy Dragonfly nymphs are nearly ready to go, their wing buds have lifted from the thorax and they are spending some of their time during darkness near the surface of the water. I am hoping that nearer the time, I will be able to see some of the colour coming through the skin indicating that emergence is soon. I invested in a small pump for the tank to provide more oxygen and this has also helped keep the water temperature pretty much the same as in my pond, therefore emergence times should be similar to those outside. When I looked last night (Thursday) out at one of the tanks, I could see a few Large Red Damselfly nymphs near the surface and a few checks later revealed one individual clear of the water and walking along the pond weed. It seems that a few of them are starting the process of breathing from water to air and this also gave me the opportunity to go and get the camera to capture a few shots. Despite it being pitch black, I used my LED light on my phone to light the subject and I was then able to fire off a number of shots using manual mode, ISO 400, speed set to 250 and in camera flash. The results were quite pleasing and it adds another part of the story as they prepare to emerge soon.
Large Red Damselfly Nymph
As today has been so lovely weather wise, I have spent some time in the garden where there are now freshly emerged tadpoles all over the pond. As I scanned, I could see 2 more Hairy Dragonfly nymphs hanging on the reeds under the water and not surprisingly, as I watched a ball of tadpoles together, I become aware that in the middle of them, there was a Chaser nymph, not sure if it was a Four spotted or Broad bodied Chaser nymph but the commotion had obviously got the attention of this hunter. No doubt, easy pickings will be had when it gets hungry. I shall continue to monitor the action during the evenings. With two weeks now off work for the Easter holidays, I will keep my fingers crossed for some good weather and hope that we will have some Large Red Damselflies emerging and that I will be able to capture the emergence with the camera. If the weather is kind, I might even get a chance to photograph the emergence of a Hairy Dragonfly nymph before I return to work in 2 weeks, this being my first 'real' challenge of the season and one I can't wait to witness and photograph. The season is nearly upon us, the weather should be getting better and here's hoping to a great season in 2016.
Large Red Damselfly Nymph