Today I spent a couple of hours around the small pond that I visited quite a few times in the last two years. Each time there was something else to see and photograph. And so it was on this occasion as well.
The protagonists are mostly the same ...
... but the setting and the overall atmosphere can be dramatically different.
This time, the already small pond was much smaller than usual. The last rain fell more than a month ago. And it wasn't strong nor consistent. The days are long and sunny, with a bit of humidity only at dawn and early in the morning.
As the pond is shrinking the fishes are becoming visible. I didn't know that there was fish in that small body of water. I've never seen them before.
Breathing gets every day more difficult in this murky green water. There isn't much oxygen left dissolved in the dense, stagnant liquid. Here you can see a fish gasping for air at the pond’s surface.
Some fishes are jumping or skating laterally on the surface from time to time.
Wasps can also be seen skating around.
Polistes gallicus paper wasps are fairly skilled skaters. They look a bit like water striders in these photographs. But they aren't as good at skating as those highly specialized insects that hunt and scavenge only on the surface of ponds and slow rivers.
The wasps don't sink but aren't very good at moving around. They can barely decide their direction ... sometimes. More often than not they look like pieces of dry vegetation that are moved by the elements.
Many of them prefer standing on something more solid while drinking or collecting the water needed for cooling the nest on a hot, summer day.
The Limenitis reducta butterfly was collecting the mineralized moisture at the edge of the water.
Here you can see a moth. The Amata phegea.
This diurnal moth was sucking the minerals in the humid mud on the opposite side of the pond.
Not far from the moth, a small spider was patrolling the muddy area.
Can't tell you the exact species, but it looks like something from the Lycosidae family.
The spider looks vaguely familiar, but with quite a few similar Lycosidae present in the area, I wasn't able to identify the species.
I saw many flies running and flying around on the wet mud at the edge of the water. But they were very fast and uncooperative, so I was able to take only one photograph. This is the Poecilobothrus nobilitatus, a species from the Dolichopodidae family. These flies feed on tiny worms, midge larvae, and water fleas in the water film over the mud.
This very small black bug was photographed further from the water ...
... on the dry, crusted mud near the edge of the meadow that surrounds the pond.
It looks like a nymph of some species from the Lygaeidae family. But I don't know. Never have seen this insect before.
This frog was resting on the wet mud ...
... in between two shallow pools of water.
Another frog of the same kind was partially buried in the soft, gooey mud.
Pelophylax esculentus is the name of this very common frog species.
Here you can see the dragonfly that started this post. The Libellula depressa.
In this photograph, a fish passed by while I was observing the dragonfly. The scales looked like sophisticated silver jewelry.
After every aerial excursion, the dragonfly was always returning to the same dry stem of sedge, to rest there and observe the surroundings for potential prey.
Here you can see yet another skating wasp.
AND THAT'S IT. AS ALWAYS IN THESE POSTS ON HIVE, THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE MY WORK - THE END.