I left early on my walk with Ollie today. The sky was dark and threatening, so I grabbed my umbrella as well. I wasn’t about to even think of taking my camera, in case we got another downpour like the one yesterday afternoon.
Not long after I got to the river, I was beginning to regret that decision. The sun had come out, and the temperature was rising fast.
Ollie was straight in for a drink, and to cool his paws. He likes to stand there until he has chilled down sufficiently, before more trotting around. He was standing in the shallow water pictured above, but to the right, it is a lot deeper. I waited by the bank, and noticed something flying close to the water. It was a small brown dragonfly, moving fast, and enjoying being in the sunlit area, by the look of it. Very soon, another identical insect joined him/her, and began to dive down onto the first one. They did this for some time, changing places and attempting to move the other one away from what they obviously considered to be their ‘territory’.
Two more suddenly appeared, flying in with the sun behind them, like fighter pilots in the war. The first two were obviously startled, and moved closer to Ollie. But it wasn’t long before they returned to claim their patch of sky above the water. A bloodless combat ensued, with individual insects seeking height, before swooping down on the others below. It was every dragonfly for himself/herself, as they flashed around at great speed.
I stood watching this for some time, fascinated. Then a loud whirring noise could be heard, and around the river bend came a huge iridescent blue dragonfly. Compared to the four combatants already there, this was like the appearance of a Jumbo Jet looming over four small single-seat Cessna aircraft. The brown dragonflies realised that discretion was the better part of valour, and didn’t hang around to test the patience of the enormous new arrival. They flew off immediately, in the opposite direction.
And I didn’t have my camera…