Banded Darter dragonfly rest in peace

Two weeks ago I visited the Emelaar Estate to photograph the Banded Darter dragonfly. I was shocked when I arrived there yesterday morning. The field where I saw those beautiful dragonflies was no more, gone!

Banded Darter dragonfly, male, covered in dew
Banded Darter dragonfly ♂ covered in dew droplets, fog can be seen as white dots in the background

I could not believe my eyes, my expectations were harshly corrected by the cold reality. I had not entered the wrong field, had I? Wasn’t this the place where I managed to immortalize those graceful dragonflies?
Yes, this was the same field, but neat, tidy, called to order, curtailed. The field was mowed, it looked desolate. Tractor tracks showed a robust approach, take no prisoners. In a corner of the field, the harvest of this violence lay in the morning sun.

Banded Darter dragonfly, female, warming up in the morning sun
Banded Darter dragonfly ♀ warming up in the morning sun

De Emelaar is a private site and I am very grateful for the access to this estate, but I do not understand this kind of management. Admittedly, I have no knowledge of managing an estate. But when I first visited the estate, I was pleasantly surprised to see this field. Bravo, this manager understood, “learn from nature by doing nothing” the adage seemed. But unfortunately, it may not be the case here either, the ground level must be restored.

Banded Darter dragonfly, female
The bands accentuate the wings and provide extra dynamics

I read on that the field had already been mowed last year. Perhaps the recovery is going better than one would expect. But if you only pruned the young trees, wouldn’t that be very valuable for this area? If the owner is looking for volunteers for this type of work, I am available.

Banded Darter dragonfly, male, in the reeds
Banded Darter dragonfly ♂ with a little more view of its surroundings, these dragonflies are small and petite

More macro photography in my portfolio.