An hour was enough with the pipits and I battled my way back through the sedge and drove to look for barn owls. For the second time the owl was no-show.
Wednesday lunchtime saw me dashing out, camera in hand, to photograph a young hedgehog that was on a mission. Once more the angle viewfinder came in handy. If I'd had the lawnmower out recently I might have got some better shots! As it was I'd forgotten there'd been rain and my knees got damp in the long wet grass.
Thursday afternoon was free, the sun was shining, and I thought I'd go look for the darters I had been told about. Not yer average darters you understand. True to form the sun went into hiding when I got there. I did see a male common darter, which always seem to be well outnumbered by females when I'm out and about, but could get close enough for a good shot. Circling the pond for the third time a female common darter flew ahead of me into the reeds in the pond margin where it came to a sticky stop in a spider's web.
Seeing the darter's peril I snapped a shot and was about to lean out and free it when the web's spinner arrived on the scene so I let nature take its course. Watching the spider deal with the much larger dragonfly was fascinating. At first the dragonfly struggled, but within a very short time it's wings were bound and maybe it was paralysed by venom.
The web snapped at one extreme and the dragonfly swung down, where the spider made some kind of winch mechanism and hoisted it higher to a point where it appeared to bind it to the stem it was strung from. Then it looked to start dining. In order to get some real close ups with the Raynox on the lens I took a step or two too far and ended up with soaked feet. I think it was worth it.
Dinner for one
Butterflies are still around, but the dragonflies need more sunshine to get them on the wing. There were some fungi around now that autumn is approaching. A few leaves already falling from the trees and blackberries ripening on the brambles.