I was surprised to see an emperor flying on my latest visit to the pond. I had thought the season would be over by now but when I checked in my field guide I saw that emperor dragonflies do fly into early August. This male was the only one on the pond. He was resting more than those I saw in recent weeks, possibly because of only intermittent sunshine, possibly because of the lack of competition, and perhaps also because he was feeling his age. Most of the times he stopped for a rest he was out of view. The first time he was in range of the camera I didn't have a clear view but I could see his rather battered wings.
The second time he rested for longer and I could get a slightly better view without the water flooding my wellies.
Although dragonflies do coil up in a mating wheel, I hadn't realised until now quite how flexible their abdomens are. This chap was doing a few stretching exercises.
I just hope there was a last empress about somewhere otherwise all his efforts will have been in vain.
*The Last Emperor (1987) was a film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.