There are three stages of the dragonfly life cycle, the egg, the nymph, and the adult dragonfly.
You might see a dragonfly dipping half their body into water. This is a female dragonfly laying her eggs. Eggs take about to week to hatch into nymphs.
Once nymphs are fully grown they crawl out of the water and shed one final time. They emerge as young dragonflies, then wait for an hour or so until their wings harden and they can fly. Until their wings harden they are extremely vulnerable to predators.
They spend about a week feeding away from the water, becoming more colourful as they reach adulthood.
When mature, they move back to the water to breed. You can easily spot a mating pair by the heart shaped ‘wheel formation’ of mating pairs. After breeding, the female heads to water to lay her eggs and sometimes the male follows, protecting her until the eggs have been laid.