Thursday, June 30, 2011

getting braver all the time

finding the peanuts irresistible, this juvenile woodpecker is prepared to come very close to the house

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

full sail ahead

mid summer sees the appearance of the pretty yellow flowers of meadow vetchling, a member of the pea family

Sunday, June 26, 2011

damsel in distress

I am not quite sure what is going on here, but it looks like an aphid has a tiger by its tail. The damselfly was doing its best to dislodge its unwanted passenger by arching its back and rubbing its tail against the blade of grass.

Further research suggests it might be a water mite, various secies of which parasitize dragonflies, damselflies etc (see link for arrenurus genus) ... you live and you learn!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

the view from Cotehele

 we were very lucky today to be taken up the North tower at Cotehele. The roof is reached via a very narrow steep flight of stone steps, and has a view towards Calstock and far across the Tamar valley. This is the same view as before (see link) but taken from a much higher vantage point and it includes the tudor roof of Cotehele itself.

more butterfly things

the greater butterfly orchid, and the lesser Spot

another episode from Dr Doolittle's handbook

He can even charm the heath fritillaries out of the trees. There were a lot of heath fritillaries about today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


hemp agrimony about to flower - reputedly a rough medicine, or an ointment when mixed with hog's lard.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

the scorpion fly returns

this is the common scorpion fly (identified instantaneously thanks to the experts at wild about Britain see link) in a clump of brambles. The scorpion bit refers to its tail appendage but is not very obvious in these photos. The head reminds me of Star Wars: the clone wars

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

an occasional visitor

great spotted woodpecker, one of my favourite but only very occasional visitors to the garden

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the slightest thing

a green lacewing (chrysopa perla I think) in amongst the grasses and sorrel. The pollen was coming off the grasses in the meadows in great clouds today. And there was a great flash of blue as a kingfisher flew past chinking as it went like two coins knocked together.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a small skipper

the small skipper (male with little black bands on wings), quite common at this time of year but frisky and can be difficult to catch on camera

Friday, June 10, 2011

off spring

a goldfinch showing its youngster the ropes, and a blackbird doing all the work for its youngster

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Saturday, June 04, 2011

human landing strip

In late May and early June, especially on warm days, you can see these longhorned moths performing little dances in the lanes, rising and falling before they mate. Here they are taking a rest before resuming the great battle to procreate.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

walnut tree

tiny flowers have appeared again on our much nurtured young walnut tree but will we get any walnuts? Watch this space for the next riveting installment.