Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Here Be Dragons

A frustrating morning. Couldn't settle to much as I had my annual check up at the local hospital this morning. I knew there were road works on the way and in the end it took nearly twenty five minutes to drive the four miles. Seen early for the ultra sound scan but had to wait ages in the queue for my Xray. Decided to use a different route back which meant driving through the town but I forgot the chaos in the narrow streets on market day. Now I have to wait until the end of December before I find out the results.

I was ravenous by the time I got home just after mid-day as I hadn't been allowed to eat anything since the night before and was only allowed to drink water.

After a hurried ham sandwich and a mug of coffee I took a tour round the garden. Once again there was a Common Darter Dragonfly flitting about which gave me a few photo opportunities.

Common Darter Dragonfly

The small sections of coloured pigment on the wings actually give a little extra weight which helps the dragonfly control its wings.

Common Darter Dragonfly

There was also a Common Hawker flying around which flew between my legs twice while I waited to see whether it would settle. Needless to say it was being awkward and didn't stop once before it left the garden.

Here, especially for Shysongbird, is a poem I found:

“Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where he did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of his old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Through crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light he flew.”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

During our afternoon walk down the lane there were several Common Darters and some lovely looking brambles but why is they are always the opposite side of a three feet deep ditch?


Finally a Greenfinch at the bird bath. Another dribbler but this time the water was dropping straight back in the bath so no bib needed this time Glo.

Ringed Greenfinch

It was only when I enlarged the photo that I noticed the ring on its right leg. I think this is one of this years brood so may have been ringed fairly locally.


  1. Well I hope you get some good results from the tests John.

  2. Oh how frustrating to have to wait about 3 months for the results!!! I hope they are what you wish for when they come through John.

    Nonetheless your wander round the garden was productive and some lovely pictures to boot! A a very apt and lovely poem.

    Those blackberries look really yummy and yes, why were they.....?

  3. Lovely shots of the dragonfly John, and what a capture of the Greenfinch. Water droplets perfectly frozen.

  4. Oh John thank you, that is so sweet of you, what a lovely surprise, I feel really spoilt now ;)

    I loved the dragon photos and found the information about the coloured pigment lending extra weight really interesting.

    The Blackberries...oh yes the best are always just out of reach!

    That is a great photo of the Greenfinch, I love the look on its face.

    I do hope you get favourable test results, it's an awful long time to wait!

    Thanks again John, you have made my day :)

  5. Thank you Roy. I can see no reason why they should not be at the moment.

  6. Thank you Emma. I think they are my favourite pond visitors even though they do make it difficult to photograph them sometimes.

  7. Yes Tricia. The tests are early this year. At least I can forget about them now until the end of the year.

    It was a very obliging dragon as it kept settling near me and patiently waiting while I took a few shots.

    Time to do some arm stretching exercises I'm thinking, so I can reach the hedge fruits before the birds and wasps get them all.

  8. Thanks Keith. We have had two good sunny days which helps a lot to get some fast 'shutter' speeds and a better depth of focus.

  9. I was hoping you would like the poem, Jan.

    The info about the dragon's wings was on a scientific site but I lost the reference.

    The Greenfinch has a "Is he pointing that camera at me again?" look.

    I usually have to wait a couple of months between the tests and the pre-arranged yearly meetings. I think routine, non urgent tests take longer to work through the system. I feel well so I will put them to the back of my mind until the end of the year.

  10. Wonderful darter shots John! Brilliant detail. I've seen very few close up so thanks for sharing these :-)

    Wishing you all the best with your health checks :-)

    Any signs of movement in your Hedgehog House yet? I'm watching one have a nap in ours at the moment. It's great to see it but I find it quite strange to see this animal breathing quite so fast.

  11. That greenfinch looks like he's saying something, the expression on it's face is comical. Perhaps you could think of a caption!

  12. Glad to hear your day improved after such a frustrating beginning. At least it's done! I bet you wolfed down that sandwich after being on such a long fast!

    I was happy to learn about the brown bits on the ends dragonfly wings ~ I have often wondered if they served a purpose, and now i know! Thanks! Wonderfully clear and detailed photos.

    Your little greenfinch does seem to have a curious expression on its face, perhaps thinking "Banding is one thing, but bibbing is quite another!" Interesting to see the water drip captured on its journey down!

  13. Thank you Shirl.

    No sign of interest in the hog house as yet. I put a trail of fresh dried mealworms as an encouragement.

  14. Hello Matron. The way the Greenfinch seems to be squinting to see what is going on it may well be thinking, "I wish I'd gone to Specsavers."

  15. Morning Glo. It is amazing how events conspired to cause frustration just when I was trying to stay calm. The water company are laying a new water main through my narrow village street. Over a month so far and they are not half way done. On top of that there looked as though there was a burst main at the end of the street so there were two sets of temporary traffic lights in the space of 300 yards.

    Must have been a connoisseur Greenfinch who was thinking, "Ummm. Tap water with just a hint of orange essence."


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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