Although the sun could be felt through the thinner cloud , a cool breeze was still blowing . I saw absolutely nothing walking across to the pond , and not much more when I got there . The water level was well up with the recent rains , and the vegetation around looked much more lush . In amongst that vegetation , Hedge Woundwort-Stachys sylvatica , a common plant , but with a flower not unlike an Orchid . It is a member of the Labiate family and consequently has a square stem , like the rest of the family . The name Woundwort , was given to several species that were thought to have healing properties , and were used to make plasters and ointments . On the emergent vegetation around the shallow edges of the pond , I started finding the exuvia , the old skin of the larval stage , of Emperor Dragonfly , from which the adult emerged . I had a good look all around the pond and found a total of 26 Emperor exuvia . Last year I found 19 , and the year before 39 exuvia . I take them off the vegetation on each visit , so we can find how many have emerged over the season . I haven't found any Broad Bodied Chaser exuvia this year around the pond , but large numbers of Damselfly exuvia are on the vegetation . An expert can identify the species of Damselfly that has emerged from any given exuvia , as they all have different characteristics . Of course the Damselfly exuvia are much smaller than that of the Emperor Dragonfly , as this shot shows . Also empty around the pond were these Ram's Horn Snail Shells . These snails were bred for the aguarium industry on a large scale , and were probably dumped into the pond , like at least two Goldfish that I have seen swimming around there . Just a couple of Large Red and 10+ Common Blue Damselflies were recorded on the pond , along with one male Broad Bodied Chaser .
From the eyes and single wings , I would say they were flies rather than Bees or Wasps , but I'm not sure . Finally , on the feeder when I got back , just before a shower , a pair of Greenfinches , as usual , the male in the brighter feathers .