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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monster from the murky Pond

Have'nt got time to write much about photos taken this morning showing  life in our small pond. Add some details later.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Phlogophora meticulosa and young spiders

Found in our green house resting during the day and looking very splendid was an Angle Shades moth, which I hope is a correct identification.

 The photo below was sent to me, taken by a mobile phone and showing a fairly common newly  batch of newly hatched spiders in another garden. I've seen similar in our own garden. Its fascinating how they all keep together and if you gently touch the group they usually disperse but eventually come back together again. I assume there must be a high mortality rate or we would be overrun by them by now!
The second photo shows a  very young gropup of garden spiders from a nother garden and sent to me.Not sure what the species but its often seen like this in our garden too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Damselfly number two. Azure damselfly. Coenagrion puella

Having got excited about the discovery of a Damselflies in our new pond (12 months old now)  described in my last post then we had another new arrival. This time it appeared clinging to a stem of a pond plant  and looked very new having just  emerged from its nymphal cast which was also close by. It appeared in the sunlight to be  translucent and almost colourless. I've been advised that the colour takes time to develop and that it is likely to be an Azure damselfly. Here is the photo I manged to get leaning over the side of the pond to get close enough.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pyrrhosoma nymphula and a small wildlife garden

Last year we created a very small pond about 2m long by1m and in its second summer I took some photos today which I'm really pleased with.
Last year the Somerset Wildlife Trust started encouraging members to create a wildlife garden however small and that's what we have done and its great to see it attracting new wildlife. An Orange Tip butterfly also flew by whilst I was taking these shots but didn't stop for me.

Dont forget if you click on the photo it will give you a larger picture.

My guess is that the Damselflie is Pyrrhosma nymphula , Large red damselfly. Later on I saw a pair mating and laying eggs in the pond vegetation which I had added only a week ago!

These two flies came and rested on plants close by. Idents still needed. Any ideas please.

This is not a very good picture but is good enough to illustrate that while watching the damselflies we noticed that this bug climbed up the stem of a plant recently added to help the dragonflies. It sat there in the sun for quite a few minutes aqnd then suddenly whent back into the water and we could see it was a Water Boatman!

and finally, this is a  small sign sent me by the Wildlife Trust which is now proudly displayed on the garden shed. Notice the fly stopped to see what it was all about!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Batty Piece 4 acre meadow ( private nature reserve)

As in previous years I try in a very amateurish way to record what is growing on our local meadow. As you would expect plants are growing very fast now after steady rain over the last few weeks. Not enough to end the official drought of course. So as it was raining a little this morning I have only had an hour or so in the field and made a few notes and took a few photos. Here are a few to set the scene.

First shows the fruit on the fairly old Walnut tree on the southern boundary. I assume the picture shows the male flowers in the form of a catkin. I'll look for the female flowers next time.

Here is our first 2012 Yellow Rattle flowering plant.  This plant which first appeared in our field, probably brought in by a tractor,  and spread rapidly since then about 3 or 4 years ago. It has a parasitic relationship with grass and has certainly reduced the growth of the grasses which we hope will encourage more wild flowers

We keep looking for the first sighting of our two native orchids. The Pyramidal and the Bee Orchid. Looking for their leaves amongst all the rest is a hard task. But is this one of them?

The overall impression of the meadow is one of a field of golden yellow. Buttercups ( bulbous usually) are doing very well and are very numerous this year ( thousnds of plants). The same applies to Cowslips which also seem to be more numerous that previously ( but only a few hundred). We even have the Oxslip version. We think!

Our new 200 m hedge with seven native trees is looking very good in its 4th summer. The Blackthorn has finished flowering, the Wayfarer is in full flower, the Dogwood, the Spindle, Privet and Field Maple  are all developing well. Hawthorn is starting to flower.