With my recent interest in Dragon and Damselflies getting more and more an acquaintance invited me out on a balmy day to Big Waters, he stated that in 1998 he had watched the film "The Horse Whisperer" and that conjured up an idea which he had been working on in private with some success and now wanted to show someone the results. Without explaining his idea he took me to a spot and explained that here was quite a good spot for Common Darters so to be ready with the camera. He then took off his cap and just stood there and made a strange humming sort of sound that seemed a bit vibratory but within 30 seconds a Darter appeared and flew around his head (although I was unable to get a good focus on it) and eventually it landed on his forehead. I was going to take a pic but on our walk out to the spot he asked me not to take pics which would give away his identity.
He stopped his humming noise and commenced patting his right arm and the Darter dropped down to the exact spot. By now I was absolutely amazed but when he started drawing his left index finger up and down his sleeve and the Darter followed it I was more amazed than the committe who were listening to the "Murdochs" at the recent Parlimentary hearing.
He then indicated his right index figure with his left one and started the weird humming noise again.
The Darter after a few seconds took to the wing and flew around my colleague twice then landed on his pointing finger.
He then stroked it a couple of times and turned his hand around allowing me a few more shots. He then explained (in an exceptionally quiet voice for a change) that it was hard to hold their attention for more than about 40 seconds so in order not to stress them out he would now send it on its way.
He then made a clicking sound with his tongue and it immediately flew off although it hovered for a few seconds looking back then off it went. Alan then explained that he had only had success with Darters and Hawkers but found that he could only do it once a day and suspected it was the scent being left that put off others till he had bathed.
Once again I must stress that my colleague does not want to demonstrate this ability to others as he is quite a private and shy person and even asked me to not blog this until just after March next year so if somebody found out his identity then there would be no Hawkers or Darters around. I pleaded with him and said that if I could blog it now I would not pass his name onto Keith, even if begged me, so with that codicil he reluctantly agreed.
Just a note that all of these shots have only been cropped with a bit of sharpening (as even with my VR on the excitement of watching the above happening made my hands tremble) and the use of Photoshop as is as always banned in my house. No insects were harmed in the make of this blog.