Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Leopard slugs and Rat-tailed maggots anyone?

Does anyone else find fog melancholic?

Not that this particular picture is in anyway melancholic, in fact,I'm wondering why I took this shot now, it's not my normal subject matter.

Let's try that again then....

Erm, at the risk of repeating myself, "Does anyone else find fog melancholic?"

I don't know,perhaps it's the mood I've been in over the last few days? There's a sadness associated with fog that I can't pinpoint-but that's probably because I can't find it!

We've certainly had our share of it over the past weeks here in Kent and together with the rain,everything seems to now be coated in varnish, or dipped in honey,if you prefer a more poetic analogy.

Which reminds me (apologies I'm going of piste here for a moment) of the old Spike Milligan poem that goes something like...

I eat my peas with honey;
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

I think Spike may have pinched this from Ogden Nash but anyhow...

Everything's wet!
I mentioned in my last update (t'was last year now!) that I often come across patterns and shapes on my woodland walks and the other day I espied another. 

Quite cool I thought-s'pose I should have photo'd it at a funky angle or something for maximum impact but, it wouldn't be nature in the raw then would it?

Another 'spot' in the local woodland was this tree damage...

This I am fairly sure is grey squirrel damage, and interestingly enough and by pure coincidence, there is a piece in today's Telegraph newspaper where Prince Charles is voicing his concerns over this very issue.
As patron of a new charity, The Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST), the Prince has spoken out about the damage greys can cause. Grey squirrels strip the bark from native broadleaved trees like beech, oak and sweet chestnut.

More damage higher up the trees

And the evidence on the ground below

Away from the woodland areas that I love to spend time in,there seems to be a growing movement amongst local farmers to want to keep Llamas as livestock...

At least, I think they are kept as livestock for their wool? I do know they are also used for llama trekking.
I'm assuming (probably in ignorance) that this is a llama and not an alpaca? All I know is that llamas are larger (I think!)

I'm still finding lots of fungi too...

Not sure this'll be on the menu,even if it is an edible one.

Tell you what,I'm always narrating  my way around these woodland walks and relating how much I enjoy them, but how do you fancy joining me for a 'virtual' walk right now?

You'll need to make an effort to keep up though, I don't hang around-hold on tight then...

Please keep in mind if you view this in your email only, it probably won't show up.

Whew! Not sure just how much wildlife I would see if I really did move at this speed? BTW I so wanted to add some Benny Hill music to this!

Back in the garden, I came upon this strange critter under a shard of broken flowerpot...

Drone fly larva?
I think this must be the larva of a hoverfly species called Eristalis and possibly E.tenax?

I haven't seen one before but it seems to fit the description-not sure about the 3 black eggs(?) at the left hand end though.

If I'm right about the identity,the tail is used as a breathing tube whilst they spend their early life in water. They only leave to pupate I think and so possibly that's what's happening here, as this was not in water, but was close to a bird bath.

Another thing worthy of mention here is that this 'thing' also resides under the  beautifully descriptive name of 'Rat-tailed Maggot'

Besides finding the 'ugly stuff' (sorry Mr. Hoverfly)  I have also been watching a family of springtails that have made their home on the rain water barrel...

I'm not too sure what this one was doing, grooming maybe?

Ramping up the cuteness levels even further, there is also an extended family of sparrows that call the garden home...

This one was taken with my little point and shoot camera, through glass and so I guess the colours are a tad distorted.

Well, much as I'm tempted to extend this blog update yet further, I'm sure there must be more valuable things I ought to be doing with my time. If only I could remember what they are! Anyhow, just before I take my leave until the next edition, I wouldn't want you thinking that I've decided cute is the way forward, and so I'll make my last photo here a slug!

Leopard Slug
Until the next time then...


1 comment:

  1. You shot some rear photograph. You are really great photographer. Great job.


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