Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Painted ladies and rescued damselfly

5 painted lady butterflies were seen in the back garden. I walked down the side of the house and looked up the track and into the front garden and estimated 14 painted ladies in total.
The most I have ever seen in such as small area at one time. It was very windy and the butterflies were being blown about a bit.
Many moved to the back garden feeding on the red Valerian which was relatively sheltered by the flint wall. I counted 10 on the valarian at one time.

I noticed a damselfly larvae climbing up the pond grass. It had climbed about 2 feet up the plant, previous damselflies only climb just above the water level before slipping out of the larvae.
I watched for a while, waiting for the adult to emerge - it was windy and a bit drizzly. Suddenly the sun came out and by the time I got to look at the pond the adult had already started to emerge.
However, because of the wind all did not go to plan as the next sequence of pictures demonstrate. (All photographs taken through the glass of conservatory window so some are poor quality) I carefully encouraged the adult to cling onto a piece of grass and I carried it inside and put it on my desk, supported in a glass. It as far to windy to do anything out side.
The next sequence of pictures show the adult damselfly slowly drying out and changing from pale cream to its adult red markings.

About 2 hours after rescuing the damselfly, the adult had flown from the desk onto the door.

I carefully encouraged the damselfly onto my hand and took it out to the pond and encouraged it onto the plants along with the other adults that had emerged recently.

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