While Francine remains in the UK attending to family business, Franco has been left in Spain holding the baby. The baby in question is el perrito, our friends’ pooch, Scamp. Since Casa Libélule is not particularly dog-friendly, I’ve moved into their house for the duration [a week].
Francine and I have looked after el perrito on many previous occasions but I’m discovering that it is not an easy task single- handed. Getting the car out of the property is a challenge requiring unlocking and opening the gates, driving out, stopping and closing an locking the gates. While I’m doing this, el perrito is constantly dropping a ball at my feet accompanied by an ear-splitting terrier-like yap/bark if I don’t stop what I’m doing to throw his ball quickly enough. Guess who thinks he’s in charge.
At least I’ve cracked the reverse operation of getting back in, which would normally involve the same demanding canine ball retrieving activity. Mercifully, el perrito has taken to getting into the back seat of my car and riding with me as I reverse in through the gates – much easier. Maybe I should start trying to drive him out and cut out the crap with the ball. My eardrums would appreciate that. Barking dogs are bad enough but piercing yaps are horrendous.
Having ball-thrown my way out of the gates today, I took myself off to a marsh at Pego-Oliva to see what entertainment I could find. Not a huge amount in all honesty – a bit disappointing, really. The place is always lousy with Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and I soon managed to snag a decent shot of a handsome male.
I was most fascinated with a very fast, dark looking dragonfly that was chasing about low down over the water in quite good numbers. I suppose its dark appearance should have given me a clue to its identity but I remained bemused until, part way around my regular circuit of this place, one finally settled in a reasonable location quite close to me. All was revealed: a Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacia). It’s still one of those species with which I’m slightly less than familiar. They really are fast little beggars. Maybe I’ll know next time.
There were Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) cruising above the channels (I think this marsh is a former rice paddy) but they weren’t posing. I spotted a couple of late-ish Common Bluetails (Ischnura elegans), too, and there were Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea) in reasonable numbers but the only other half-way reasonable photo opportunity was a female Red-veined Darter.
I might try my luck at Gandia tomorrow.