Just lately, the weather could be best described as having been ‘moody’. Some sultry nights, occasional hot sun, with daytime temperatures rarely reaching a seasonal norm. To balance this, we have had threatening clouds, some thunder and lightning, and raindrops as big as ten-pence pieces.
Following a long spell of constant heavy rain, this combination has seen the foliage and vegetation spring up to new heights, as well as an increase in the number of small biting insects. Halfway through July, it still doesn’t really feel much like summer, to be honest.
Walking with Ollie this afternoon, I dallied awhile, as he went to stand in the river to cool down. Hovering just above the surface, I noticed a huge dragonfly. It had a body as big as my thumb, and an impressive wingspan too. Unusually, it was a yellow/gold colour, not the iridescent greens and blues I have previously noticed. It was soon joined by others, their distinctive flying style seeming to take them off at right angles without effort. Smaller damsel flies stayed on nearby leaves, appearing to keep clear of their much larger relatives. Once these monsters appear, you can be sure that it really is summer, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
These large dragonflies are impressive insects indeed, and go about their business without any fear. If you get close enough, you might sometimes hear the motion of their wings, and be able to marvel at their controlled flight, and occasional bursts of speed. I am not an expert, but their confidence suggests that they are the kings and queens of their domain, and have no obvious predators. I sat watching them again for a while later on, as I rested on a bench. One thought occurred to me.
If they were as big as crows, we would be in serious trouble.