Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 30/05/2012

A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window*

Flower, originally uploaded by

Today has been a rather spectacular day, in that I witnessed a spectacle that I’ve not seen before. Visiting the same nature reserve I’ve mentioned before when previously out hunting for snakes, however being realistic I decided that today wasn’t a day to go hunting adders, but to take in the wonders of the natural world and see what I could photograph. Actually I was hoping that there would be an abundance of wildflowers for me to photograph, and whilst there certainly was a wide variety of blooms in the pastures and surrounding woodland it’s not what had me all excited. Part of my route took me past the River Thames and having seen a great number of Blue Tailed Damselfly flitting too and fro around the waters edge and amongst the reed, I happened to spot a Beautiful Demoiselle, another time of Damselfly which really lives up to its name. I tried, in vain, to snap a few of them but they were moving too fast but only 20ft further along I spotted a Banded Demoiselle which are even more striking, getting their name from the distinct dark band across their wings and which are just as colourful as the Beautiful variant, in my opinion anyway. Luckily the one I’d spotted had landed on some tall grass in the meadow that ran alongside the waterside and I inched closer to try and get a photo of the resting insect. When I then looked around I noticed that this wasn’t the only Demoiselle resting atop a seed head, there must have been two dozen individuals all sitting atop the grass seed head, wings folded back along their abdomen (this is the way to tell a damselfly/demoiselle from a dragonfly). I managed to take a few images I’m really pleased with; they’re not close up photos, neither do they show the abundance of demoiselles that were perched atop the grasses but the images (again in my (humble) opinion or IMHO as some may say) do have a nice appealing look to them.

I’ve started to get really excited, Dear Reader, about tomorrow. Yes, I know all the platitudes about “tomorrow is another day”, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”, “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” and not forgetting “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow, you’re only a day away” (perhaps we should try and forget that last one). Anyway, tomorrow Dear Reader I’m going to see Half Man Half Biscuit play live in Oxford. I’ve been to the venue many many times over the last twenty years, in fact I’ve danced on stage there for the whole of one set (and I have written about it for those who can remember.. for those who can’t, well.. I leave it up to your imagination). It’s a great venue, the sound is excellent and it has real atmosphere (in other words, your shoes stick to the floor as you walk across the “dance” floor)  in fact the last band I saw play there were Cardiacs. I did then see Cardiacs play in London a week later and that was the last concert they were to ever play due to Tim Smith (who IS the Cardiacs) having a massive heart attack. Having already seen HMHB play this year, let’s hope I’m not some sort of jinx and Nigel Blackwell retains his good health (and I wish him much wealth as well as happiness!)

*Today’s image looks very similar (in my eyes anyway) to the cover of the aforementioned Cardiacs album… you see, it’s not all thrown together but carefully planned… okay.. it’s all thrown together!


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