Pond Ponderings: Update From Dan Brawn’s Impressive Emperor Pond in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
My previous blog described the emergence in spring 2019 of twelve Emperors after one year as larvae. On the 31st May this year 2020, I noticed seven Emperor exuvia which came as a surprise as I had not spotted or fished out any Emperor larvae during pondweed maintenance since last spring. That same evening in the fading light of the day, I spotted an emperor emerging from its exuvia right at the tip of a rather short horsetail pond plant. I made a plan to get up before dawn to see this one fly off. However when I returned at about 4am on 1st June ,there were two exuvia the one clinging onto the back of the other. Clearly, a second Emperor had chosen to climb the same short horsetail as the first nymph.
I wonder if the first managed to fly or was knocked off into the water where one of the frogs might have had a tasty meal! Anyhow, I waited from dawn at around 4am, until a very late 9am for the second (a male) Emperor to ready himself for flight. It was a perfect day for it, low wind, dry, sunny and warm.
So far, over its two years of existence, this pond has nurtured twenty-one Emperors to the point of emergence, ready to begin their purpose in life. The pond, as I write on the 18th June 2020, has a rich tapestry of life including common darter and damselfly larvae and much more. Garden ponds, when designed for nature, are truly magnificent. They bring rich life to a garden.