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Brain a-buzz 3 September 2014

Posted by Dr Moose in Ponderings.
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As I was a-walking with the GLW at the weekend I had a little epiphany, a realisation. Yes, they do come along every so often…. usually when I’m walking and lacking a notebook! One of the things I love about the summer is the presence of dragonflies, those enormous (for the UK at least) flying beasties. The way they zip and flit is, to me, quite entrancing. I can’t quite say that the sight of one lightens my entire day, but it’s not far off!

Walking back across the Racecourse, there was a dragonfly, darting about. I remembered that I’d not only seen many dragonflies at Boughton House, while at Greenbelt, but other places too. Rather more than I’d expected, in fact. One thing I’d never experienced before has happened this summer too: having a dragonfly not only land on my trousered-leg, but even flying off to return very shortly with a dainty morsel in the shape of a small fly! They are after all, predators – bad news for mosquitos and such-like, but probably good news for us!

However there’s another insect that is rarely thought of as good news – the wasp. Their numbers seem to have taken a hit over the last few years, and I can’t say I miss them. Not personally, nor in the role of protecting adult for daughters who dislike things buzzing and stripy!

It made me wonder: is there any chance, any evidence, that the two observations may be related? I’m not in a hurry to search the internet, partly because I’m probably wrong, but also because it would rob this post of much point! Dragonflies need the damp, their larvae need the water. Wasps have suffered with damp and cool conditions. Both are known predators, even if a quick browse of the wikipedia suggests only a minor degree of prey overlap. Might the rise of the one (based on my hugely unscientific observations) relate to the decline of the other?

It’s a thought to ponder, and proves that my brain still works, at least. Whether it is working well or I am making much sense, well, that’s a different matter entirely!

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Comments»

1. faithhopechocolate - 3 September 2014

I’ve not seen many dragonflies myself (yet I love them). However, Whitby (or at least, Sneaton Castle) seems to have a veritable plethora of wasps buzzing around at the moment. They’re not very energetic wasps to be true, they’re mostly buzzing around in circles and dying off. Maybe I should gather up their corpses and take them down to the pond for the dragonflies?

Dr Moose - 3 September 2014

Sounds like a plan! Our former Vicarage used to get wasp infested most years, which partly explains my lack of love for them”


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