Italy, Sep 2013

A trip to Italy for the first half of September was primarily a walking holiday. However, there were a few days off to get a dose of culture in various cities. I don’t really do city culture but, looking at a map, I did spot a couple of water bodies that might have given me a little Odo interest. Time was very limited but I did find a few species in three locations.

Since I am not yet minded to make Italy a regular hunting ground, my Italy map and observations are likely to remain very limited. This may well be it. 😉

View Dragonfly Sites, Italy in a larger map

Lucca: 11 Sep, 2013

P1030133 Lucca Walls_MG_6500 Common BluetailFor a city, Lucca is actually quite pleasant. It’s most impressive feature is undoubtedly its 4km wall, complete and in good repair, around which you can walk and/or cycle. Running just outside a considerable section of the wall is a small water course which I assumed to be some kind of drainage channel. It meanders, quite attractively, through a grassy surround. Here, we did find a couple of Odos. Of course, being on a walking holiday I was not correctly equipped to capture them well on pixels but we did our best with what photographic equipment we had.

  • Ischnura elegans (Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly)
  • Orthetrum cancellatum (Black-tailed Skimmer)

Cinque Terre: 13 Sep, 2013

_MG_6578 Red-veined femaleNormally we really enjoy coastal walking but in the case of the very touristy coastal footpath that we encountered at the famous Cinque Terre, we’ll make an exception. Get us back to the sanity of the mountains and away from flip-flop clad sun-worshippers. My interest did increase when we spotted a dragonfly or two – hawkers of some kind – zooming about our starting village but I couldn’t identify them. Along the coastal path itself, however, we did spot a female Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and preserved it on pixels. At least I now knew this species to be happy at the coast and was no longer surprised to see it in such habitat.

  • Sympetrum fonscolombii (Red-veined Darter)

Florence: 20 Sep, 2013

This is the day I was dreading more than any other. Here I would be in a very large, bustling city, crawling with tourists and full of expensive shops, and me in the company of several women who regarded shopping as an Olympic sport. I studied the map again and found the Boboli Gardens which seemed to have a few water features which just might provide some respite. Unfortunately there was an entrance fee but I could stand no more and went in, accompanied by a couple of male companions with a similar allergy to shopping.

P1030296 Sterile habitatP1030292 Black-tailed SkimmerThe first water feature, classical statues around a circular concrete pond with no vegetation whatsoever, proved utterly sterile and unsurprisingly fruitless. Oddly, at the second water feature, which looked equally sterile with not a hint of any vegetation at all, I spotted not one but two Black-tailed Skimmers flying and occasionally perching on the concrete side wall. I still cannot think why they were there but I’m very glad they were.

  • Orthetrum cancellatum (Black-tailed Skimmer)
Posted in 2013, Italy, Trip reports

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