A lake in May is, of course, the perfect place to see dragonflies and damselflies. And see them I did! More species than I’ve ever seen before. Here are some of the damselflies.
Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum) mating:
The day before the wedding, to my great excitement, I found some tenerals, i.e. dragonflies just emerged from their larval skins (their exuviae). They were waiting for their wings to harden so they could make their maiden flight.
Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata):
I watched one take to the air – chased immediately by a pied wagtail that had been perched on a nearby rock. On this occasion, the dragonfly got away.
On the day of the wedding iself, just a couple of hours before the ceremony was to begin, I came upon a dragonfly actually emerging from its exuvia. I was captivated! The process takes a few hours to complete, and it was touch and go whether I stayed to watch the dragonfly emerge or dragged myself away to go the wedding! (I’m pleased to report that the wedding won – and an unforgettable experience that was too!)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum):
When I looked carefully I found there were discarded exuviae all over this area of grass, so I collected some up to bring back and show to children when I visit schools.
I am grateful to Robert Thompson of DragonflyIreland for his help in identifying the species I saw.