Thursday, January 5, 2017

Damsels in Paradise

Welcome back! It's hard to believe that I haven't written a post since spring last year!
I did a study course to provide me with the qualifications and skills to work in a new area. It kept me busy doing the assignments and work placement but I got through it and got a job!

So, my photography and looking at my Mantid Microcosm took a low priority. I had thought that since I was never a good blogger to start with and very few followers would miss it, I would let it be but...

It's summer, there are some new and interesting insects and bugs in my garden and I couldn't resist sharing them with you. So, if you got this far, here we go!

There seem to be a lot of odonata, that is members of the dragonfly and damselfly family, spending time in my garden this summer and not just the few I've seen before. However, it seems that damselflies are very attracted to our garden this year with the occasional large dragonfly doing fly overs and driving my dog nuts. He has a tendency to chase butterflies and even flies in the garden but is OK with small birds, however large birds like Magpies and Currawongs make him crazy and he barks and barks beneath their perch urging them to get out of our yard. It seems that he has noticed the dragonflies this summer and is determined to give them the same message. It's funny watching him looking up at the trees and sky waiting for the intruder so he can jump and bark until it leaves our airspace!  But it's the damselflies that are most noticeable to me as they do not normally appear in such numbers. I'm aware of one species emerging out of my back pond one summer but these latest sightings have been flying around, perching on plants or my microcosm!

A female Wandering Ringtail ~ Austrolestes leda I think.

Male Wandering Ringtail ~ Austrolestes leda

Mating Wandering Ringtails ~ Austrolestes leda

I love the way these insects make a heart shape when they are mating. 
This one is quite fine  and small but really stood out in the early evening light.
It's a mature male Aurora Bluetail 
Ischnura aurora.
This little one was hunting over our vegetable patch and is seen here on the chives. It may be a female Aurora Bluetail but not certain. 

Mating Aurora Bluetails ~ Ischnura aurora
These didn't look the same as the one above to me but it was out in the bright sun and the previous one was in the early evening light. This pair came to my attention as they flew to this perch on a Pennyroyal ~ Mentha pelegeum plant. The sun glinting off their delicate gossamer wings. I am amazed that they can fly while in this position! 

We've had some very hot days and it seems to have brought out a lot of insects. I am sure there are more Australian Painted Lady butterflies this year and that they are hanging around longer. They are usually the first colourful butterfly I see each season, that is, other than the plain old Cabbage White which seems to be around at much lower temperatures than most so is always first and last as the seasons change.

An Australian Painted Lady butterfly feeding on Lantana flowers.

I have been sweating out in the hot sun to check what is happening in the Microcosm and have more to share but will save that for my next post. In the meantime, why don't you check out what is happening in your garden or local park? There's a lot more to see if you just take the time to really look closely. You might be surprised! 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Images Kim , a good read and really informative. :)