Apologies for the ”punny’ heading but I thought it was appropriate for first set of pictures and all the images in this posting are of insects. spotted in the garden or at ANR over the last few days.

We came across this pair of damsel flies walking alongside the Trent. The male (blue for a boy) grasps the female to prevent other males mating with her. She then arches her body to allow fertilization of her eggs. This is the first time I have observed this whole process. The resulting heart shape seems very apposite.

These are images of the same species of butterfly, comma, taken on three different occasions. I saw the first one flying but had to have it pointed out to me when it landed on some dried leaves with its wings closed. Nevertheless it can still be identified by the irregular edges of its wings and the tiny white comma shaped mark. The middle image is unusual in my experience having a patterned rather than dark underwing. The last image shows the comma butterfly at its colourful best.

I saw the peacock and red admiral butterflies (and the centre comma above) on the same lesser burdock plant at ANR and the gatekeeper (left) on a variety of mint in the garden. It has been encouraging to see increased numbers of butterflies lately.

Finally it took me a few moments to see this dragonfly sunning itself on an evergreen shrub in the garden. Consulting my dragonfly ID card I conclude it is a female common hawker.

Stay safe and enjoy wildlife whatever the weather. Remember to provide some water for the birds if we have another dry spell.

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