I've been counting dragonflies and frogs this week. I noted eight dragonflies over three days and all of them were southern hawkers. They have emerged almost one month later this year and it is still a wonder to me how they synchronise the event.
The frogs I have seen have all been immature adults of about two thirds of normal size. Don’t know what has happened to all the adults but judging by the lack of frogspawn this year something pretty calamitous. Let's hope there are more breeding pairs next year.
There is something magical about dragonflies. In part it is the mythical name but also its transformation from an initial aquatic state to that of air. It is a natural form of the mythical 'alchemy' where something base is made to become precious. It is one of the most visible of the summer insect emergences and as it happens around water it is relatively easy to locate them and it lasts for many hours. I have never seen a butterfly emerge from its pupal case; have you, and where would you even look to find one? Nature is a force that captures innocence or rekindles it; even if that innocence is the birth of the most fearsome insect predator flying the July skies.