After a number of mild nights and continually checking the pond after dark where a Hairy Dragonfly nymph was resting on some reeds above the water, I checked again yesterday to see that the nymph was now well above the water line and the colours of the dragonfly could be seen clearly through the nymph skin. As it got dark last night, I went and checked the pond and could see that the nymph had moved higher up the reed. I was now convinced that she would emerge later and went and got set up with the camera and tripod and made a flask of coffee as I thought it might be a long night. I got settled in and just before 9pm and with the nymph in position and clinging tightly on to the reed, she started to emerge and I was able to enjoy and photograph the whole emergence over the next few hours. I made sure I made time in between taking photos to just sit back and study the marvel literally unwrapping in front of me and with a backdrop of reeds which I had potted up, it made for a nice natural background to the shots and set off the subject well. With my work done, I retired indoors but wanted to be up early the next morning to take a few photos after she had colored up a bit. I was up early this morning and hoped that she would still be present and thankfully, as I made my way towards the pond, I could see her beside the exuviae. I took a few more pleasing photos of this stunning dragonfly before collecting her in a pot and drove the short distance to release her where I had found the nymph a few months earlier. Hopefully in this way, she stands every chance of completing her life cycle and reproducing the next generation. As many will be aware, I do love to photograph the emergence and I think these are up there with my best so far. I have a few male Hairy Dragonfly nymphs in the pond still which hopefully I can monitor and photograph this season. As the saying goes, if you put the time in, you get your rewards. I think this series of shots goes along way to proving this theory and I very much hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did taking them.
Emerging Hairy Dragonfly (female)
Hairy Dragonfly (female)