Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Here be Dragons


I found this wonderful beast clinging to an iris leaf, up at the pond on Sunday afternoon, I took it be a dragonfly emerging from its status as a nymph into a fully fledged flying machine.

Here be dragons


I had absolutely no idea how long the process would take, minutes, hours, days? So I pitched camp up by the pond for a couple of hours to watch (this was no hardship whatsoever, after so many weeks of busyness.) I was brought a succession of  cold drinks and I had books to read, it was all a bit of a luxury actually.  My concern was that a bit like a mammal in labour, an important bit would be ‘delivered’ and woosh, suddenly its all over, probably when I was looking the other way  and  I thought it might be the wings in dragonflies’ as they emerged from their casing that was the tipping point. Well I can report that nothing happened.

There were other mini beast to watch though.

Mini beasts



Mini beasts 2

It was still there the next morning, nothing seemed to have changed, not to the naked eye at any rate, I checked a couple of times more during the morning, and there it was gone, disappeared, I never did get to see it take to the air, I missed it. (I’ve since read that they don’t develop their magnificent colours for a few days, so maybe the moment wouldn’t have been quite as dramatic as I hoped.)

The legacy of time lounging by the pond is I have a number of nasty insect bites, that kept me a wake last night ( I’ve got a swollen finger that looks like a pork sausage!) and the  resulting antihistamines have kept my brain asleep for most of the day! I suffer for this blog you know, but not too much, as I write its late evening and the smell of honeysuckle is wafting through the open window, delightful.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “Here be Dragons

  1. It does sound like a luxurious pursuit. A couple of hours by the pond, with a book and people serving you. Sorry about the bug bites, but your dedication is appreciated.

  2. Hmm. Sounds as if the star of the show was set out on purpose to entice you to the pond where you could become a tasty snack for all the tiny conspirators that hang about down there. Best keep a sharp eye out. But oh, what an image. If you must suffer for your art at least let it be art such as this! (Easy for me to say, eh?)

  3. Well I’m glad you are willing to suffer for us – so we can see your wonderful pictures and hear about your wonderful adventures. Hope the swelling goes down soon and you can also get some sleep.

  4. It looks like an empty exuvia to me Uphill so you’d probably missed the emerging beauty (though I know it’s hard to tell empty ones from full ones!).

    It is a wonderful thing to see, I’ve managed to catch a couple as they emerge over the years. The colour first after emerging is a bit lacking but there’s usually quite a lot of colour by the time they fly off. First thing in the morning is the best time to catch them and if there’s been one in that spot there’ll be more almost certainly.

    A couple of my photos of an emergence can be found starting here:


    • Thanks NiC, that explains a lot! your photos are fantastic (as ever) I did think it would have been extremely vulnerable to predators, hanging around like that. Watch this space

  5. It’s very noble of you to suffer for us and for your art. 😉

    To be honest, except for the insect bites it sounds enjoyable to me. I think you still managed to get some interesting shots, even if the star of the show didn’t cooperate.

  6. The price we pay for a photo op! I think the bug bites were worth it, even if you didn’t get to witness it’s metamorphosis.

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