The arch into the herb garden in the soft light of autumn
It's more by luck than skill that I have captured on camera the large Southern Hawker dragonfly that I first heard, then saw, clattering around the pots which skirt the herb garden pond this afternoon - the pond that split and drained over a year ago, which was reinstated back in the summer.
I am so very pleased with the way it has already settled down - it looks as if nothing had ever happened (in fact looks a tad more cared for than it did before), but it has been somewhat sterile up until now; while filling with water, a single dragonfly did indeed do one circuit of the pond, attracted by the sun on the water, but since then - nothing. The proliferating duckweed has helped to mellow it and then - today - the final sign that nature is in good working order in that area; the advent of the beautiful dragonfly, which spent its time circuiting the pond edge, laying eggs into every nook and cranny it could find. I have missed them and was thrilled to see this one return.
Dragonfly larvae can apparently spend up to *seven* years developing at the bottom of the pond, but I have great hopes that sooner, rather than later, I will be able to once again sit in the arbour on a summer's afternoon and watch them climb out onto sedge grass, split their larval skin, and emerge to pump up their wings and fly away - another generation of dragonflies taking to the air.
I have a passion for all forms of Dragonflies - they entrance me, and have also been a great inspiration to artists in paint, textile and jewellery for many centuries; along with the wild creature itself, here are some examples of the beautiful items that have been created by human hands
Rene Lalique - Dragonfly brooch - 1904
Also by Lalique - the mesmerising 'Dragonfly Woman' at the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon
Lalique (again!) - Dragonfly Tiara
The exquisite embroidery of Annemieke Mein
On paper: Frog-Dragonfly-Fantastic-Bird - Jacob de Gheyn (1565-1629)
From the British Library - a page from De Bello Gallico, circa 1550
Red Dragonflies - a Homage to Monet - Reiji Hiramatsu
Now all I want to pick up my pens and needles and sketch, paint and stitch - but in the meantime, I can always resort to my camera!