It was towards the end of May and I’d done my work for the day on the reserve. It was a beautiful late afternoon and before I headed home I decided to give myself a bit of time to enjoy the Island Pond with binoculars and camera.
I watched a crowd of Azure damselflies: blue males hooked onto green females, ovipositing (egg-laying) into the matted plant debris in the water. I wondered at the sheer extravagance of their electric colours.
An Emperor dragonfly patrolled the pond, with authority and extraordinary aerobatic skill. I failed to catch it in the camera’s lens, but delighted to focus on the sun glinting on the fresh wings and markings of a Four-spotted chaser. These feisty dragonflies will often appear to mob the much larger Emperor.
I raised my eyes as a shape like an oversized swift swooped over the pond and came to rest high in a tree on the island, surveying the scene below. Yes, a Hobby and it stopped long enough for me to train my camera on it. Dragonflies are part of the diet of this summer-visiting falcon. My heart seemed to pound with excitement and I was filled with a sense of awe.
These moments felt like a gift and reminded me of Job as he is confronted with the awesomeness of God’s creation. He is asked a whole series of questions, “Who gives the ibis wisdom or gives the rooster understanding?” (Job 38:36) and “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread its wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26). There are many more questions, and all Job can do is stand humbled.
Written by: Andy Jowitt, A Rocha UK’s Volunteer Community Engagement Officer at Foxearth Meadows