Sunday, February 07, 2016

This entry may contain too many musical references...

Before I get into another update, here is a health warning from the Right Honorable Sir Scary Bugg E.R.  

There, you have been warned.  Hello.....are you still there? Oh good, let us begin.

It's early February in my world and probably in yours too. Locating blog-fodder is never easy this early in the year. But I have done my very best and as Love Unlimited once sang: It may be winter outside (but in my heart it's spring) and so let's rediscover together what I have managed to unearth since the last update...

There have been some really nice sunrises over the Kent countryside

There have been some early flowers. I spotted this cuckoo-flower already out a few days ago, much earlier than I have seen before...

This is just a phone grab photo

Crocuses in flower, but no attendant bees yet.

Even the frogs have been calling in the garden...

I purposely added an effect to this so that you couldn't tell as easily what a mess this part of the garden is in right now. I am not even sure why I have uploaded a video at all, when you can't actually see the frogs. Oh and just to be clear, they weren't actually calling 'In the garden', they were in the garden calling...

Here we come, walkin' down the street. Get the funniest looks from everyone we meet. Hey, hey, we're the...

(I Had to get a Bowie tribute in somehow)

 Not too scary was it? This next one isn't even a real spider...

I have to thank the British Spider Identification Group for sorting out the correct identity of these tiny spiderlings. The little one on the left is a juvenile Wolf spider and the right hand photos are of an Amaurobius spiderling.  Thanks due to Michael Kilner. 

Enough with the spiders already!

Okay...not sure why anyone would find these offensive though, what would you expect to find on the web?

Once again I have been finding quite a lot of hibernating ladybirds:

16-spot ladybirds (Tytthaspis 16-punctata)

What else? Well...O' forgot to say when doin' my spider thingy, I also spotted this vacant egg sac:

What do you think this next photograph shows?

Here is the information I added the last time I found these insects (yes, they are insects) in 2013 
 Scale insects: (Coccoidae) While there's some variation, they start as free-moving crawlers, with the females becoming less mobile as they mature. In most groups, the females attach to a single spot and lose legs, antennae, etc., so that they begin to look more like some kind of growth than an insect. Both mobile and non-mobile types develop thick protective layers of wax or other inert substances, often in elaborate shapes- so it's hard to see the actual insect underneath.

(If anyone is interested, this close-up was taken by adding a Raynox DCR-250 to my lens) If you are not at all interested, I still did it that way...

On a day when I was feeling particularly frustrated by the weather restricting my activities, I decided on a quick ten minutes (can you have a quick ten minutes?) sifting through leaf litter for critters. It was okay regards the results; I mean I wouldn't say I ended up with a Noah's Ark quantity, but there were a couple of interesting characters. Like for instance this tiny weevil...

It must have been hibernating until I disturbed it. I tried for a better shot but it just rolled over and played dead...

I tried tickling its tummy, but even that wasn't enough to persuade it to allow me anything better and so I returned it whence it came.

The 'thing' pictured above was the only other interesting discovery. Of course I realise it could just be a plant seed, but was hoping it was insect related. 

Back on the fence where I saw all those ladybirds, I did find a larger weevil...

I think there was only one but it could have been Twice as Much! ('Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That' as the Joker might say)

I'm outta here. 

Until the next time...

(I have added my latest article published in Magnet to the blog as well. You can find it by clicking on the button at the top of this entry, or by clicking HERE)


  1. It's somewhat February in world here too, though Dec and specially Jan was missing altogether - unless I imagine my world had shifted some 4-5 degrees south. Seasons as we knew are probably disappearing.
    Empty egg shell and that attached insect shots are amazing..

    1. Yes, the seasons are definitely changing for sure. Thanks for your interest and visit...

  2. Too many Arachnids but still a fab blog with excellent photos as ever!
    Amazing to have seen a Cuckoo flower blooming. I've seen a few early flowerers here, but not that species. Don't think I've ever seen it in flower before mid to end April even.
    Love all those ladybirds. Gorgeous!
    Not sure about the mystery object this time (but then I've not got very far with previous ones either!!). Reckon it could well be a plant seed though.


    1. Arachnids are cool!!!

      Yep, cuckoo flower sighting is the earliest I have seen by about a month but then, I read that somebody photo'd bluebell flowers on Feb 8th. As long as the cuckoo flower lasts for the Orange tips I will be happy.
      No I didn't make any headway with the previous mystery objects either Maria, but thanks for looking anyway.


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