This week we have had a fantastic bit of summer in Southampton, and I have been basking in the company of any insects that care to stay still long enough for my camera.
At the Boating Lake and Ornamental Pond the dragonflies have been busy, skimming, mating, fighting over territory, and occasionally sitting nicely for a few seconds on a reed or branch for me to photograph them.
Their smaller counterparts, the damselflies, are also plentiful by the water and in the long grass, getting up to very similar antics. The range of colours that these tiny creatures exhibit never ceases to amaze me, and their big eyes on those stalk -like bodies are mesmerising.
Then there are the butterflies and day flying moths. In this beautiful weather when the humans are trying to move around as little as possible these industrious little creatures are fluttering urgently around, taking only the shortest of pauses to land on brightly coloured flowers, or nestle in the long grass to ensure the next generation.
Alongside the butterflies the bees, an endless source of delight to me, have been hovering around flowers and slurping up nectar.
Meantime, lets not forget the young birds: the moorhen and coot chicks are more or less unrecognisable from their cute, fluffy and ungainly infant forms, and are looking sophisticated and mature as they traverse the Ornamental Pond with their parents. The cygnets at the Boating Lake have reached a rather bedraggled stage, but are still as adorable as ever.
Oh, and lets not forget this guy!