06 August 2007

Here be Dragons

It's now August, and we've moved from the wettest July on record into what promises to be the wettest August on record. To make matters worse we've moved from cold and wet, to hot and wet, with high humidity and all-round unpleasant moistness.

To give an idea of how Cretaceous-like the climate has become, I am posting a picture of the most gigantic dragonfly I have ever seen, taken one morning last week beside the Luas stop at Stephen's Green. I didn't drop a coin beside it for scale as I was afraid that it would fly off, but its wingspan is about two inches across. I know that doesn't sound like much but I've never seen a dragonfly that big in Ireland.

Brian from Dragonfly Ireland says :"This is a female Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, a common species in Ireland, including along the canals and parks in Dublin. The species is instantly recognised amongst Irish species by the tan or amber colouring on the wings. Females have an unwaisted abdomen." I did a search on Google for "Dragonfly" and "Ireland" and surprisingly enough up popped his site, so I emailed him some pictures and he replied this morning - thanks Brian!


At 1:34 pm, Blogger Ebauche said...

That's pretty giant alright. I've seen a few big ones on Rathlin and up in Leitrim. They're pretty amazing looking creatures.

Most I've ever seen though was in Canada when I was hitch-hiking to Vancouver. I'd gotten a lift with some guy and we were listening to the Mamas and Papas at full blast when we drove through an unbelievable swarm of them. Next time we stopped the car we checked the front of the car and there were hundreds of the poor things smashed and impaled on the grill of his pick up. Amazing fluorescent colours.

Excellent party last night by the way! Great job. Cheers.


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