BEESTON SAFARI DAY 141/365: AZURE DAMSELFLY
When we first moved into our current home, I took a walk into the back garden. It was late July, and the grass had been left to grow hip-high, softly going to seed. Moving through it caused an explosion of silver blue, as dozens of damsel flies were jostled from their perch's by a lumbering fool.
We tamed the garden soon after with strimmers and spades, clearing up the dumped.masonry waste and reclaiming the flower beds from turf. The damselflies became less common, but out proximity to several large bodies of water - the river, the canal, the countless pools and ponds of the nature reserve - meant Summers would still be full of these slender, beautiful creatures that signal unpolluted water: it is heartening to see how common they are now - I barely remember them from.my childhood.
The American poet August Kleinzahler described them as 'Fragile as a lady's pin' which is just about perfect. In the same poem he recounts advice "If you just slowed down / And looked / You'd see all sorts of things" - a just about perfect verse for this safari.
We leave this house soon, and with it the garden. Through digging ponds and wilding parts of the garden, the damselflies are back again, as they have been for 300 million years and will be long after our own temporal flash of irridiscent cobalt has long faded.
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