Here Be Dragons

Just over a decade ago life gave me the opportunity to live briefly in a rather wonderful place called Crean Mill.  It was a wildlife haven and I was in my element living there with a plethora of different birds and mammals visiting the land around the Mill.  What it also had in profusion was a vibrant dragonfly and damselfly population.  There was a very specific reason for this.  The previous owner of the Mill was world renowned expert on these fabulous insects, Philip Corbet, and he deliberately designed and landscaped the garden to attract these species.

Mill in Spring 010

I spent a blissful summer studying, identifying and recording all the dragonflies around the ponds and the many breathtakingly beautiful damselflies that gathered around the stream that ran through the woodland nearby.  Fortunately I was lent usage of a camera to photograph many of these gems so I still have stunning photos which remind me of those halcyon days.

What follows now is a Witch’s Dozen of images from that time.

Dragon 1

Dragon 2












All too soon my stay was cut short and I returned to my cottage in the village where I had but a modest little wildlife pond.  Only on two occasions had I spotted a small damselfly in my garden and I resigned myself to not seeing these fabulous creatures except on rare occasions when I visited gardens elsewhere.

However, just recently I had occasion to reconsider the situation.  Following a little research I found that it is entirely possible to adapt and change the plant life around my humble pond to tempt in dragonflies and damselflies.  I found an wonderful website called Puddleplants based in Wales and they gave me excellent help and advice.  Puddleplants

I set to clearing out the pond (no mean feat) and the space nearby ready to receive it’s new plants.

Here’s what the pond looked like before.

Pond (3)

After I had cleared space.

Pond 4 (2)

The finished pond with it’s dragonfly alluring plants.

Pondlife (2)

Pondlife (5)

Pondlife (3)

Now all that’s needed is for a passing dragon or damsel to spot my pond and see it as an ideal place to reproduce itself.  I have a feeling this may take some time.  Maybe a bit of magic is called for…

In the meantime just a few facts about dragons:

They eat their body weight in insects every day – useful if you’re susceptible to gnat and midge bites.

They evolved 300 million years ago predating dinosaurs – so they’re relics and real Old Souls.

The relic dragon had a wing span of over 3 feet – just imagine what that would look like – somewhat alarming methinks!

They are astonishing aerial acrobats with the ability to hover and reverse at high speed if necessary – very handy and versatile skills which makes them voracious hunters.

Contrary to their appearance they do not sting or bite – in fact they are beneficial to humans as they can decimate mosquitos and are an important part of the food web. 


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