The Dragonfly Diaries - Review

The Dragonfly Diaries - Cover
The Dragonfly Diaries - Cover
The Dragonfly Diaries by Ruary Mackenzie Dodds | 296 Pages | Saraband | Paperback | 2014 | ISBN: 978-1908643551 |

You may or may not know this but I am a massive dragonfly fan.

In the summer often Dragonflies and Butterflies take over from my passion for birds (not always but sometimes).

I love watching them, photographing them, being around their amazing aerial adventures and even reading about them when the sun has gone down (my Dragonflies of Milton Keynes project should have given that away), but I have to admit that my passion is nothing when compared to the passion of  Ruary Mackenzie Dodds.

Ruary Mackenzie Dodds 

Ruary Mackenzie Dodds is as much responsible for raising awareness of Dragonflies (or I should say Odonata) in the UK as any leading naturalist, he set up the UKs (and Europe’s) first public Dragonfly sanctuary and later The Dragonfly museum, he has inspired and taught countless dragonfly enthusiasts and has a host of glowing references from the great and the good in eth natural world – Chris Packham calls him “one of Britain’s greatest living naturalists”.

This book is an insight, through his diaries, of that adventure into the world of Odonata, where he first found his passion (like me photographing dragonflies) through his setting up of the sanctuary, changing career, to the museums creation and sad demise and on to his eventual handing over of the baton.

The Dragonfly Diaries

In the Dragonfly diaries, Ruary writes with a real sense of passion, You can clearly feel his love of the natural world, and especially dragonflies and damselflies. The book is a very easy and entertaining read, and doesn’t go stale as some other diarist books can.

I’m not going to say I was enthralled by everything, I’m not a fan of planes or old farming materials, two subjects that get a fair airing, but the way they are written about keeps them interesting, and doesn’t lose your interest.

Natural history writing is a passion of mine and that was what made me pick the book up but the views into Ruary’ s personal life and that of those around him is what kept me reading.


If, like me, you are a fan of Odonata then this is a must read, if you have a passing interest then it is still worth a look, and if you want to read about someone’s passion then I’d also recommend it.

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