Thursday, November 21, 2013

A seven-eyed spider...

November 21st as I write and would you believe it, bramble flowers just starting to appear in the old orchard close to my house...



Autumn seems to be only just getting into full-swing here with many trees remaining quite green until the last few days when there does now seem to be a real change underway, even though I am not     expecting a spectacular show, as some have already lost their leaves.This beech was looking nice though...
Click any image for a larger view


Of course as the year moves on, birds are finding it increasingly hard to find food and I've seen a few blue-tits feeding on the last of the apples in the old orchard...




We've had our fair share of rain in the last couple of weeks and now everywhere is saturated...


 There's always a winner though, the slugs and snails are the beneficiaries this time and if bugs are elusive, then you don't need to be Holmes to seek out the latter...


I can't believe it has taken until well into November to find my first drinker moth larva. I usually see these in reasonable numbers but this is my first of the year and it's only a youngster too...


Here's another moth caterpillar, this time one I would expect to see later in the year...


Assuming my identity is correct-I think this is Angle shades (Phlogophora meticulosa.) Larvae that hatch in the autumn overwinter as caterpillars and then pupate in the soil in spring to produce the first generation of adults the same year.

The colder conditions don't seem to bother the spiders as much as other invertebrates and I was surprised by one I found a few days back that seemed to have some kind of, now how did my friend describe it? "Genetic mutation" in that it appeared to have a  missing eye...




Well that's about it for this little update, more very soon and I'll leave you with another photograph of 7-spot ladybirds that I took just yesterday.

Until the next time then...



6 comments:

  1. Seven eyed spider is very striking find. I just hope its result of nature trying out its own ways but given what world our speices have created, cant stop thinking if its defect caused by exposure to some environmental pollutants.
    btw, autumn colours are nice. something we at lower latitude don't get to enjoy.

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  2. Thanks...I hadn't considered it could be as a result of pollutants or pesticides etc. interesting thought. Yes, I tend to forget that not everyone experiences the autumn/fall colours...

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  3. Another beautiful series of images and a superb blog JJ! That spider is something else! Not sure I'd have noticed the 'missing' eye! Lol! Might be worth getting in touch with BAS (http://wiki.britishspiders.org.uk/index.php5?title=Main_Page) to see what they think about it. Hope Earthshine's theory isn't right but it could well be!

    Have seen quite a few flowers out still here and our trees have also hung on to their leaves until very recently. (Some still are). Having said that, we've not yet had too many hard frosts...

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  4. Thank-you for suggesting the spider website Maria, think I may just do that and see what they think. You seem to have been having similar weather to us in deepest Kent-no frosts much, I even saw a magnolia tree in bud yesterday.

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  5. Interesting with the spider JJ. Probably just a genetic mutation that happens in nature from time to time. Other option is it may of lost an eye at an early stage of it's life, and with the subsequent moults the skin has just covered the wound.
    As for the weather, still got wild flowers flowering in the garden, campion mainly, had a buttercup flowering this weekend and also saw a bumble bee, and the snow drops have pushed their shoots through already. Only in England !!

    Jason.

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    1. Yeah, I think genetic seems favourite. Weather? All over the place again and reckon we'll be seeing crocus' soon! Or bluebells maybe ;-)

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