An Uncommon Darter

Looking down from the top of the valley we can see the medieval hill town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio below. It’s still partially in ruins from the 2009 earthquake which destroyed its Medici tower and ruined the facade and roof of the 17th Century church. It’s still full of boutique shops, artisans and funky ice cream parlours though.

Santo Steffano di Sessanio - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

We can see a pond below and head for it along the hot track. There’s a dragonfly perched as we approach. Excitedly I take a few photographs, surprised to find that it’s better against a light background so I can see the veins in its wings:

Common Darter - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ve not taken a photograph of a red dragonfly before. It’s surprisingly small. Back home I try to identify it: “The Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum, is common and widespread from Europe to Japan.” Maybe I didn’t have to go to Italy to find it then.

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