Beautiful by name, beautiful by nature……….

This is such an exciting time of year for our wildlife ponds.  Suddenly there are dragonflies and damselflies everywhere including a good number of Beautiful Demoiselles this year.  This graceful and colourful creature, with its transparent brown wings and bright turquoise body, immediately takes to the air around the garden and perches elegantly on the tops of the hedges or on our hawthorn blossom.  A careful search in the long grass around the Big Pond will reveal the abandoned larval shells of some of the larger Libellula dragonflies that wait a while to develop fully before taking to the wing. They can often be found in the early morning, still perched on their empty case.  Once these large species are on the wing, territorial jostling ensues.  Several species of small, bright blue damselflies are also emerging now and it takes a while for their colours to develop.  At this stage they are pale or transparent and I find it hard to identify them.  In all the ponds are very active in early summer and I love to take a minute to sit and watch the dragonflies prowling and swallows dipping down to drink from the still water surface.

About wildlifegardening

Jenny Steel was a Plant Ecologist at Oxford University before becoming a writer. She has more than 20 years experience of writing about and teaching ecology, natural history and wildlife gardening. She is also a photographer, journalist and former plant nursery owner, and a lecturer and tutor in adult education. She has appeared on a variety of radio and television programmes including Gardener’s World with Alan Titchmarsh, and she presented a series of items on the BBC 2 gardening show, How Does Your Garden Grow. She has worked with and written for a variety of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, Atropos, Ernest Charles, the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA), Haiths, Usborne Books, Complete Gardens, Oxfordshire County Council, the charity Growing Native and several of the Wildlife Trusts. She is also the Garden Bird Guru for the wild bird food company JustAddBirds of which she was a co-founder. The Emmy Award winning film company Panache Productions are currently making a film about her wildlife garden in South Shropshire. She has written 10 books on wildlife gardening. Her website can be found at and her bird food company at
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1 Response to Beautiful by name, beautiful by nature……….

  1. Great photo, you have to get them length ways on or they will not be all in focus. This one is perfect.

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