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June 18, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland



This damselfly is a welcome visitor to the pond.  I have struggled to keep the water in good condition this year and this is a sign I’m winning, (thanks to barley straw).  I believe it is a Common Bluetail but am  happy to be corrected if anyone out there is a damselfly expert.



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  1. Jayde-Ashe / Jun 18 2013 11:11 pm

    What a beautiful colour! That is a gorgeous blue.

  2. kiwiskan / Jun 19 2013 4:14 am

    great shot

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Jun 19 2013 8:44 am

      Thank you. it’s lovely to see them. I’m looking forward to seeing dragonflies now.

  3. Gallivanta / Jun 19 2013 4:55 am

    Beautiful. Do you use the barley straw as a filter?

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Jun 19 2013 8:50 am

      I don’t use barley straw as a filter. It is stuffed loosely into bags (or old tights) and then eventually sinks. As it rots it changes the composition in the water and helps to prevent algae forming, (takes about six weeks to start working). It’s a proven non chemical way to stop algae growing and is used in water treatment plants too. It seems to be working. I used to have fantastic insect life in the pond but blanket weed took over and it became a poor environment for most things. I clean it out regularly but it is difficult (impossible) to remove manually.

      • Gallivanta / Jun 19 2013 9:00 am

        That’s very interesting. Thank you.

  4. lyntochter / Jun 23 2013 5:55 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. We too have algae problems but no dragonflies yet. They come later in Scotland I think. Have tried the barley straw extract and bought barley straw. Maybe didn’t wait long enough or have enough. Must get some more. We did have a lot of tadpoles this year though. Normally the larvae of the Great Diving Beetle chomp away at the tadpoles but they were late hatching this year. On their way now though!

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Jun 23 2013 5:57 pm

      I believe the barley straw is a tried and tested method of fighting algae. First year I’ve tried it and it’s early days but I am hopeful.

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