There is an old saw in Darwin that the appearance of the first Dragonfly heralds the end of the wet season and the approach of the long dry season. Most people that have lived up here for more than five minutes know that is a crock and – if you look hard enough – you can find Dragonflies going about their business right through the wet season.

A week or so ago I sat on the back deck of a friend’s house in Darwin and in the space of a few hours snapped a few pix of just a few of these brilliant jewels. There were literally clouds of these most fascinating creatures flitting about in my mate’s backyard, some in small squadrons over the open area above the pool, others zipping and dog-fighting in and about the dense tropical foliage.

Just as in Alice Springs – where I found whole worlds of insect life in two Witchetty Bushes right outside my front door – in Darwin it seems that if you look long and hard enough you can find a whole universe in a backyard.

I don’t have my Dragonfly field guide with me so I can’t give you any species names or more information about these insects right now and I promise to remedy that when my books come out of the truck that will bring them from Alice Springs to my new (old really, I’ve lived here for a long time in the past) home in Darwin.

I don’t know how many species of Dragonfly – and their close relatives the Damselflies – there are in Darwin but I’ll keep my eyes out for any more species as I travel around.

And I’ve not been able to clean these pix up so apologies for the dirt on my sensor…

I’ve been remiss in my attentions to this blog and to you all. As you may be able to tell I’ve moved on from central Australia and am now based 1,500 kilometres north in the Northern Territory capital of Darwin. Full-time work means that i won’t be able to post as frequently as i have in the past but I promise to bring you all the news that is fit – and that I can within the limits of my new job – to bring to you.

Thanks for your forbearance…

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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