Monday 30th June 2014.
The Saturday just gone, whilst showing a couple around the garden, I came across the first emerged Dragonfly from the pond. The weather had been showers and cloud so it was still there Sunday night. This morning whilst having my morning cuppa, I headed off to the pond for a look as usual and low and behold I saw another Southern Hawker behind the 1st one drying it's wings out, then on closer inspection another had not long emerged from its larvae casing and still had milky coloured wings. In the image above you can see the 3 in a row. And if that wasn't a pleasing sight then as I scanned the pond I found another on the underside of a reed, but this one was still in its larvae stage and hadn't as yet started to break out. That was me set for the morning, the camera was grabbed and I then took up position laying on the decking around the pond.
The image above was the 2nd Hawker to emerge, it was well on the way to fully drying out.
The 3rd Southern Hawker above had not been out for long, with the wings fully extended they now had to dry and harden.
With the sun flitting in and out of the reed plants, I took as many pictures as I could, keeping an eye on the last one still waiting to emerge.
The positioning was good for a change, as they tend to stay towards the back of the pond, but this one was next to where I was laying so all I had to do was make sure I didn't lean over too much and fall in!
The above images shows it intact, but in the image below you can see the head starting to break through.
It proceeded to slowly push out and then the head was free from the casing.
Then one leg opened out
Followed by the second
Then all of them.
As the colour started to change on the eyes and head, the wings then took on a different colour and look as the legs hardened it seemed to clean the feet. Then presumably the legs had hardened enough for it to finally escape the last section and grab the head of the larvae casing, where the wings could now be unfolded. This literally took a few seconds, and I was just checking the other fresh one to see its progress, and upon looking back now found it up the opposite way, I was a bit miffed to say the least but couldn't believe how quick it had moved out of the casing!
It took such a short time really to get the wings pumped up and fully stretched out, mind you it is obviously vulnerable at this stage. Each of these following images shows it a few minutes apart, you can see the progress in the unfolding.
It was then just a case of drying out before departing, and slowly they all moved off leaving just the empty alien like cases on the reeds. What a privilege it was to watch this event happening, and a lucky encounter considering how quick they can transform.