I’ve been wanting to do some of the Outdoor Hour Challenges from this blog lately. We did do a bit of a study on sunflowers last month, but I forgot to write it up and well you know how it gets.
Anyway this months challenges are all pond centred and as we’ve been doing lots of this kind of stuff I figured we *should* in theory be able to do one of them. I decided we ought to have a look at some dragonflies and maybe look at what the lesson in the handbook of nature study.
Yesterday we had planned to go to the local RSPB reserve, but the weather was a bit changeable in the morning and I didn’t want to go all that way if it would end up being dull and overcast and not dragonfly loving weather. We decided to go to our local council run reserve instead which is just down the road. We also added in finding a sneaky geocache there too.
We knew there were dragonflies there as we’d seen them the day before but this time we were armed with our nature journals and the idea was to capture them in that. M’s journal is looking very bare so I need to encourage him more.
We had lunch, mucked about with some perspective photography and read from our Nick Baker’s Bug Book and a bit from the Handbook of Nature Study. I’d never really considered the size of dragonfly eyes but after reading about them I made sure I looked at them next time. One idea in the Nick Baker book was to find a stick and position it next to the pond and wait and see if a dragonfly will land on it. We tried, but it didn’t work for us.
We then sat by the edge of the pond for ages and watched loads of what I think were common darter dragonflies and plenty of common blue damselflies. There was also a much bigger one flying around that looked a bit more green/yellowy colour, but I never got a good look at it. Both M & A sat and drew in their journals, M copied a picture from the book as he was struggling but I think they both did a great job. I have been practising my sketching with the subject in front of me and I think I am getting better! I am not very confident in it.
Down one edge of the pond there was much more vegetation and rocks that attracted the dragonflies more. If we were really quiet and careful we could stand very close to a rock that one dragonfly liked to sun himself on and get a really good look.
This is the first time we’ve gone out specifically to do a study on something, but we really enjoyed it 🙂 Hoping to do more soon
Here are the finished journal entries —
A’s damselfly and then her sketch of the common darter
M’s effort. I think it’s a common red damselfly copied from the book, although we didn’t see this species today.
And finally mine 🙂