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An hour with my macro lens

After a dismal week of rain, there seemed to be a brief lull this morning, the skies cleared and the sun attempted to remind us that it is, in fact, July!

I have been so busy lately that I have not really had the chance to get out with my camera, but as I spent a little time in the garden this morning, there was quite a lot of insect activity and I spotted a red damselfly. I took my camera and macro lens out and thought I would take a few pictures of this beautiful damselfly and any other insects that caught my eye.

This species is the large red damselfly, rather than the small red damselfly. The large is the commonest and the banding on the abdomen is the easiest way to tell them apart, besides their size. The small red damselfly is much less common and  found on heathland .

This one posed nicely for me in the sunshine… what a stunning insect!

Last weekend, I photographed a Southern Aeshna dragonfly that had emerged from my pond.

I spotted at least four new nymph cases on the irises in my pond, so there are some more of these beautiful insects around this week, despite the poor weather. The nymph cases are pretty amazing to look at as well ( and easier  to photograph!) You can see where the dragonfly has emerged from just behind the head and the shape of the wings can be seen. As they emerge, their wings are tiny and crumpled, just as a butterfly’s are when they emerge from the chrysalis. Over a period of several hours, the wings and body expand, dry and harden. It is a fantastic thing to watch and I will be keeping an eye out for more emerging from my pond.

There are still a few fox gloves flowering in the garden… many have just about finished now or been totally flattened by the torrential rain we have been having. The bumble bees are loving them, but it was hard to photograph them as they disappeared so quickly. The carder bees seemed to prefer this plant that I have left growing in the garden as it has been so popular with the bees. I have been told that it is ‘Hedge Woundwort’ and is very popular with long -tongued bees.  I did manage to get a couple of  shots of the carder bees on this popular flower…

There are an awful lot of flies around in my garden… not sure what they all are, but I was quite drawn to photographing them…. they seem to sit, surveying the area, so I did some long crops of these insects…

 I think this one is some kind of Ichneumon wasp? 

I then had a wander (or a squelch!) up the bridle path opposite my house. There is a large field that has not been mowed.. it should be full of butterflies, but this wet weather seems to have had a really detrimental effect on butterflies around here… very few around. I saw one meadow brown and then managed a quick shot of this ringlet.

A soldier beetle caught my eye.. it really looked like it was on sentry duty….

and this fly, that I think is some sort of Snipe fly.

It was good to get out with the camera and it was too long before the next deluge came along…. but I didn’t mind as I had some photos to process! The rest of the images can be seen on my Flickr site HERE


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