Time on the riverbank is always a pleasure and on an evening stroll through the meadows and paths that follow the River Rib last evening we were accompanied by clouds of butterflies – Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlets and the occasional Cinnabar Moth to add a flash of red to the long grass that swayed back and forth in the breeze.
Further on our path touched the river as it wound out of the woodland edge and into farmland, heading north towards Latchford. We paused, watching the ripples of the water running across the water crowfoot in mid-stream. Banded demoiselles flicked above the water, dancing between the reeds to catch the eye of passing females then dropping to rest midstream on a conveniently bent stem when their advances brought no reward. A Southern-migrant hawker patrolled the stretch with the flight-power and agility of a far superior order to the damselflies.
And then a kingfisher flashed through, heading downstream through the dappled horizontal light that set the flies sparkling like fireflies against the dark shadows of the woodland.