Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)
I first noticed a few bright blue flitters beside the Thames near Hampton Court some while ago. I thought at first they must be butterflies. It turns out they were Beautiful Demoiselle damselflies. I finally discovered some in the wetland area of Bushy Park. I also discovered, eventually, that they fly away if you let your shadow fall upon them.
Damselflies and Dragonflies have a number of charming names in folklore across the world, including sewing needles, snake doctors, horse stingers, mosquito hawks and devil’s darning needle.
Beautiful or gruesome ? It probably depends on how close we look and, of course, the eye of the beholder. Certainly, I think, one of nature’s wonders.