Our Garden Pond Life – a real blast for my 200th and last “Photo a Day ” Blog!
We wouldn’t be without a pond. Small as it is, it attracts birds and insects for bathing and drinking as well as being home to so many little creatures.
Perhaps the most beautiful pondlife are the various Dragonflies (mostly Hawkers) and Damselflies we get. We always scoop up a lot of their nymphs when we dip a net in the pond and also find many empty nymph cases attached to pond leaves. However, we have only managed to watch the astonishing process of a dragonfly emerging from its nymph twice in the nineteen years we’ve had a little pond.
It takes two to three years for dragonfly nymphs to grow in the water before they are ready to climb out on a stem or leaf which they cling on to with their legs for the extraordinary transformation event. What a privilege it is to see a new dragonfly literally unfolding in front of you over a period of about one and a half hours, although it takes longer before it is ready to fly away.
This is the first one we ever saw emerging from the nymphal case.
The nymphal case splits just behind the head. The head of the dragonfly then emerges first and hangs downwards for a while until, with a great effort, it bends upwards so that its legs can catch hold of the nymphal case which it clings on to; it can then pull the end of its body out. It takes some time for the wings to blow up and dry out.
Two more dragonflies seen in our garden.
The stream we made for the first few years, the small pond and the little waterfall have also been very important for birds, adding another micro-habitat to our garden. They appreciate somewhere to drink, splash and bathe in. During the summer, the edge of the pond is also a magnet to honey bees coming for water.
No matter how small your garden is, it is well worth putting in a small water ‘feature’ of some sort to increase the range of habitats for the benefit of wildlife of all sorts.
I do hope you have enjoyed the finale!
Thank you for looking at my photos over the past seven months.
But please don’t go away – I shall still be posting, but not every day!
PS: I’ve just noticed that I need another 430 views to reach a total of 20,000 views since I started my Blog three and a half years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t think this 200th “A Photo a Day Helps” post will also achieve pushing the total views to 20,000 – not that this has been my aim or the purpose of the daily photos!