This is a golden-ringed dragonfly, the largest of the local species, which has just emerged from the exoskeleton of the nymph stage of its life cycle. It has to sit like this, helpless, while it dries out. This dragonfly has spent three years as a nymph, an active hunter in a pool of fresh water.
Today has been one of these brilliant Highland days which more than make up for the recent dismal weather. We found the dragonfly on the southwest slopes of Ben Hiant, on a hilltop high above the new fish farm, the stalk of marsh grass coming out of a surprisingly small pool. It seems quite amazing that the nymph found enough to eat in such a limited area of water, and that it survived three winters in such an exposed spot.