Newly hatched dragonfly* and, above it, its empty nymph case. Sorry it’s not tack sharp but I grabbed the nearest camera and not my Sturdy Tripod. No pics of the process of it emerging, because I had just stood there awestruck as it split free from the Alien-looking nymph, and the wrinkled wing stubs and tail slowly filled out.
* Edit – looked up later and it’s a damsel fly, but close enough.
Heads up to Cynthia Longfield (1896-1991), author of The Dragonflies of the Britsh Isles (1937). Read her fascinating biography here. Intrepid is the word. She never married. At the age of 14, Longfield became exasperated with her education, and said to her mother “Must I go on learning this absolute footling history?” Her mother asked “What do you want to learn?, “Science” , she replied.
Someone should make a movie. I can see Glenda Jackson striding through the role.