Nature's Place

Red Dragon Dancing


After a few days rain I thought the dragons would be out today with the sun and it was so. I suspect they are hungry after sitting out the wet and windy weather. It showed in their unceasing movement, to and fro, chasing down the prey that is theirs to eat.

Shelter, then food. That’s the order of things. The body needs protection first or all the food in the forest will do no good.
There were a few dragons on the trail but none were inclined to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time. So I observed and enjoyed the display of aerial mastery that is the dragon’s sig-nature. I don’t know their names, just their colours, and many there are. Green, blue, yellow, brown, red, grey and striped. All magnificent creations. Beautiful little forms of life.

This forest, Billinudgel NR, is a sponge to the rain that comes down from the hills to the west and in places it is nearly always wet. It is at these places where I find the most dragons, though my best pictures are from alongside the trail where the open space is better defined.

In spite of the wet and warm weather there are few mozzies so I can stand around in the shade at the wet places and wait for whatever happens along. Today it was a red dragon. She? Perched on my stick for just a few seconds, long enough for me to get the camera out but not for a shot. But she didn’t disappear.
From perch to perch she went, from twig to grass to stone and eventually to rest on the forest floor a few feet away. It is a real pleasure when they rest close by and I can see their detail. And since I can’t chase and stalk them as I did in the beginning close proximity is a necessity for a good shot.

I got a few and just after the last one she took to the air and was mating in the blink of an eye with a yellow dragon. It was amazing to see, an extraordinary occurrence. They flew in perfect harmony and hovered over the pool of water at my feet, moving slowly over the surface. They parted for a time and the yellow one, still airborne, dipped his rear end in the pool and used his tail to flick water up. Curious behaviour. While he was doing this she was hovering over him, following him around the pool. Proud beings they were, unselfconscious.

I felt privileged to be there and witness this dance of life in these little beauties.
© Mark Berkery…… Click any Picture and click again to enlarge

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