Monday, 10 June 2013

Flying Tonight

A couple of weeks ago a small group of Friends were fortunate enough to witness the emergence and metamorphosis of a Broad Bodied Chaser Larva from one of the small planting ponds in front of the Centre.

One of the lucky group, Peter Hassett, has kindly sent me a fantastic set of photographs, recording the entire process. Sadly, space prevents me from publishing all of Peters pictures, but I hope the following will give a good insight into the sequence of the events and demonstrate Peter's skill in capturing the moment.

The Dragonfly starts to break free from the larva cuticle

Nearly out - the new adult pulls it's body out of, what will become, the exuvia

Now completely free of the larva case (exuvia), 
the dragonfly starts to pump fluid into it's wings

The wings are almost formed and the fluid used to expand them, 
will now be used to help inflate the abdomen. 

The wings have flicked open and the teneral (newly emerged) dragonfly, 
will soon make it's maiden flight. 
The whole process has taken over three hours.

All pictures kindly supplied by and © Peter Hassett

Friday, 7 June 2013

June Open Sunday - Change of Date

Please note that this month we are breaking with tradition - our Open Sunday will not be on the third Sunday as usual - we have moved it to the following weekend the 23rd June, so as not to clash with the Great Linford Water Festival.

We apologise for any inconvenience and hope to see you there.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

歡迎 - Sunday 2nd June

Or for the few Friends not conversant with mandarin.

If you haven't guessed it already, last Sunday we decided to give the front of house a bit of a face lift, by repainting the very faded front sign (a lot of people didn't even know we had one), adding a touch of colour to the rather drab tables and benches and spring cleaning the block paving and car park area.

Friends carrying out extensive bench tests

The raised pond that we renovated a couple of months ago, is now starting to benefit from the new plants, and has started to look an attractive visitor attraction, for the many damsel and dragon flies, that have burst forth across the reserve during the last couple of weeks.

There's life in the old pond

Talking of which, a certain bloke with a camera, had to be dragged away from the planting tanks in the wall in front of the Centre, from which yet another Damselfly (possibly Common Blue) was emerging - amazingly two Broad bodied Chaser Dragonflies have also emerged from these small tanks

The Damsel larva climes a reed heading for a new life

Now he's just a shell of his former self - or should that be the other way round?

It seems, that our ponds are not the only things HESC insects find attractive - this fluorescent beetle or possibly weevil, seemed to think our Treasurer was a good place to park for a bit of morning sun.

Anyone able to identify this chap?
We will be carrying out similar tasks on the first Sunday in July - please feel free to come and join in. We can offer free tea, coffee and bickies and plenty of fun.

I promise you - helping make HESC look good, makes you feel good.

Photographs © Tony Bedford