Here Be Dragons

I mentioned in the previous post that I’d seen some Dragonflies on my wanderings and here they are…

Back home I spotted this Common Darter by the pond last Thursday. At first I was disappointed as I didn’t see any Dragons, but then I managed to spot this one and get a couple of shots.

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I also managed to get a couple of shots of this big chap (a Golden-Ringed Dragonfly) who was being very elusive and flying off long distances when I crept up on him. I spent quite some time stalking him before admitting defeat. These are the best shots I managed:

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Then more recently I was on my way down to Bournemouth (where I am now) and stopped over at my Mum’s in Bristol. While pottering round her garden looking at butterflies we were surprised to find another Common Darter there. There’s no pond in the garden so I’m guessing he must have been visiting from the ponds down in the fields below their house. He perched awkwardly high up so the shots are a bit different from my usual approach.

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Not only that, but then we spotted a Damselfly in the garden too! I think they came just to make me happy 🙂

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We got down to Bournemouth a couple of days ago and while the weather was half-decent we had a walk in the gardens. I did spot one or two Dragons but they were being very unhelpful so no photos of them. I did get this one shot of a Beautiful Demoiselle though:

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Hopefully if the weather perks up a bit we’ll be able to go for another stroll and perhaps I’ll catch another Dragon 🙂

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Moths in the Garden

I discovered by chance today that it is National Moth Week at the moment. This seems to be an event mainly focused in the US but it has spread and there are various events across the globe. This made me think of the other day when I saw a moth I had never seen before! So here is that moth, and a couple of others that I recently spotted in my garden, in celebration of Moth Week.

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Buff Footman Moth – Eilema depressa
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Silver Y Moth (brown colour form) – Autographa gamma
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Scarlet Tiger Moths (mating) – Callimorpha dominula

Tiny Hoppers

It seems to be the start of Grasshopper Season. I spotted quite a few tiny little Grasshoppers jumping about in the grass just over a week ago. Maybe they will have grown a bit next time I take some photos of them.

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Fluffy the Skipper & Friends

Meet Fluffy the Skipper… wouldn’t you just like to give him a cuddle? Skippers are probably the most cuddly-looking butterflies you’re ever likely to meet. The first time I saw one I assumed it was some kind of moth as they’re usually the more fluffy ones.

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Fluffy on a Knapweed flower
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Fluffy on a Bramble leaf

Fluffy wasn’t alone – there were other fluffy and not so fluffy creatures hanging out round the pond on Saturday with him …

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Fluffy and friends on Ragwort L-R Fluffy the Skipper, Bob the Thick-Legged Flower Beetle, Colin the Small Copper Butterfly
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Colin with Bob in the background. Colin is also rather fluffy as you can see
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Colin showing off his rather impressive proboscis
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Barry the Bumble was also looking rather fluffy (and covered in pollen) as he bumbled busily around this Scabious flower.
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Even Darren the Common Darter dragonfly is showing off a nice bit of neck fluff (although he doesn’t really have a neck, that’s his thorax I believe)
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Rather less fluffy friends include Sir Geoffrey the Grasshopper here. He’s looking a teeny bit fluffy but also slightly scary
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Gary Grasshopper, not at all fluffy, resting on a Nettle
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Greta the Grasshopper posed glamorously for me on this Bindweed leaf
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Bob the Flower Beetle decided a Bindweed Flower was a nice place to get some peace and quiet
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David the Dock Bug was a bit lost, clomping around the grass looking for some Dock leaves

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

Wordless Wednesday – First Comma

Soldier Season

It seems to be Soldier Beetle season as they are all over the place. I even had one in my car the other day! I shall respect their privacy and avoid photos of them mating, but here are just a few of them wandering about:

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More Hoppers

I mentioned grasshoppers in my last post and there wasn’t just that one that I included in the post … there were loads! It made me laugh seeing them springing around everywhere as I walked through the grass near the village pond.

I was trying to identify these but it seems like telling grasshopper species apart is rather tricky, so I gave up!

Here’s a brownish grasshopper:IMG_4211-Edit

This one was teeeeeny! Those are little bits of wood chip and I think the bit it’s sat on was a pine needle or similar. Cute isn’t it? 🙂

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And here’s a shiny green one which I think may be a female as it looks like it might be laying eggs in the 2nd picture.

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Meet Sally Stonefly

Welcome to my garden, Sally Stonefly!

I’m not just going around giving insects names, honestly! I found this interesting insect in my garden yesterday evening and spent a long time trying to work out what it was. Eventually I discovered it was a Common Yellow Sally Stonefly (Isoperla grammatica) … Sally Stonefly for short 🙂

So, here’s Sally:

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Dancing Fly

Apologies in advance for the silliness of this post!

I saw that the weekly photo challenge was Motion this week and it reminded me of a photo I took last weekend of some flies… I was taking a photo of this pair of flies when the one at the front twiddled its head round in a slightly freaky way. Seeing as I had a before and after photo, I turned it into an animated gif for a giggle 🙂 So now I bring you the dancing fly!

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Normal looking fly
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Freaky twiddly-head fly

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And if that has got you in a clapping mood, here’s a funky jazzy song to clap along with 🙂

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Motion.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

I’ve spent ages pondering what photos to choose for the weekly challenge this week, veering from one angle to another. In the end I’ve gone for three quite different photos showing both actual depth and depth of field.

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Looking into the depth of this lovely pink rose you can just see the golden yellow stamens deep inside
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This Nursery Web Spider has made herself a deep nest web in the leaf of a Bergenia
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The depth of field in this shot of a Common Green Shieldbug is very shallow. When insects face you head on, you often get this effect when you focus in on their eyes.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”

Bee Memories

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Here’s a lovely little bee for you from a week or two back, before the weather turned wet and blustery.

Remember the bees? They swarmed in our house, which was a tad unfortunate, and then set up home in the soffits of our roof. We grew quite fond of them after a while as they didn’t bother us once they were settled.

Sadly their nest has since been overtaken by wasps which insist on coming into our bathroom on a daily basis! We’ve had to resort to insect-killing spray 😦 Hopefully soon the weather will get too cold for them and we have read that they rarely return to old nests. Fingers tightly crossed that’s true – I’m so sick of having to warily enter my bathroom incase there is a wasp buzzing around in there.

I remember our bees with fondness … much preferable to wasps!

Big Buff-Tip

Don’t seen to have seen so many caterpillars this year, but a week or so ago, I spotted this chap on the Willow. He’s a rather large Buff-tip Moth caterpillar. I went for an unusual angle to get this shot, looking upwards at him. Seems to work quite well 🙂