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Archive for the ‘Wildlife through the Year’ Category

maybug-01

Can you tell what it is yet? Image from Wikimedia Commons – click to go to the source…

In the recent heatwave in the UK the house windows have been open most of the time and we have been sitting in the garden more often. But can it be that I haven’t noticed these disconcerting noises of summer in previous years?

They began a few weeks ago when the warmer weather arrived after a miserable, cool June. I started to hear a buzzing and it became more frequent. I thought we might have a wasps’ nest under the house eaves or in the soffits. I shut the bathroom window in the middle of the night so the husband wouldn’t notice it, trying to delay the moment when he found out and we had to get someone in to solve the problem. What a hassle that was going to be…

But as we sat out in the yard more we realised (more…)

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spiderwebs-01

The orb webs of Araneus diadematus in a city garden in early autumn

I always thought the word gossamer just meant spider silk. But now I know where the word comes from, I see it specifically refers to the fine threads that blow and glitter on the breeze on sunny days at this autumn time of year.

The Middle English word was gossomer, perhaps from “goose summer”, a time of year when (more…)

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Phlogophora-meticulosa-400

Phlogophora meticulosa or angle shades moth in the kitchen, September 28, 2011

Just a quick post to put on record two observations yesterday.

This moth flew into the kitchen last night, attracted by the light, and I managed to catch it in a glass. I was in the middle of eating, so couldn’t spend too long taking pictures before I let it go again outside. It was a lovely delicate pink and brown but refused to stay still for long.

I think I have now identified it as Phlogophora meticulosa or “angle shades”. These moths have such wonderful common names! Find out more on the UK moths or Butterfly Conservation websites.

Earlier in the day I saw this ladybird (ladybug) at the bus stop and took a picture with my phone. I saw some more of the insects nearby on a lime-tree leaf. I guess it’s time for the annual harlequin ladybird invasion.

The harlequin, Harmonia axyridis, was first spotted (no pun intended) in Britain in 2004 and has gradually spread north and west. Here’s an identification guide.

ladybird-400

Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) and tiny grey insect at the bus stop, September 28, 2011

Can you see the teensy grey insect nearby? These were all over the metal frame of the bus stop, blending in well. Wonder what they are?

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blackbird-01

A male blackbird (Turdus merula) on bare ash twigs in early December...

Well, at last I come to the end of my nature journey through 2010. I have been revisiting the little green wildlife book that accompanied my childhood and trying to tick off the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

Well, it has given me a focus and made me open my eyes to the nature around me again after all these years…

December 2010 in South Wales has been very cold, with snow that is not usually expected this early in the winter. This has made it (more…)

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whitebeam-01

Whitebeam berries on a frosty morning in November 2010

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and trying to tick off the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages. I’m enjoying the journey – only one month to go now…

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

November 2010 in South Wales has felt very much like a bridge between autumn and winter. There have been clear, sunny days starting with a frost, heavy rain, strong winds and at the end of the month we are in the middle of an Arctic snap with below-freezing temperatures – we even had snow on November 27 (see my pictures here).

Nearly all the autumn leaves have fallen by the end of the month, with (more…)

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october-web

October is a time of spider webs in the garden

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and trying to track down the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages. I’m learning a lot as I go along.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

October 2010 in South Wales has been typically autumnal, with some very nippy, dry, clear days and some wet and blustery, depending on the wind direction, cold North/East or warm South/West. There was also sometimes (more…)

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fallen-fruit

September is a time of fallen fruit - here's a selection from the pavement, clockwise from top left, crab apples, lime seed, pine cone and hazelnut...

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and seeing if the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages are still around.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

September 2010 in South Wales has been a mixed month with much rain but also some clear blue-sky days. Autumn is definitely (more…)

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peacock

Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) on Verbena bonariensis at Aberglasney Gardens, August 2010

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and seeing if the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages are still around.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

It’s all a bit annoying, as I keep on spotting things in the “wrong” month. I know the book isn’t supposed to be that prescriptive, but (more…)

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cat-and-fox

A game of cat and fox one morning in July in a neighbour's garden...

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and seeing if I can still spot the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

While June was a very dry month, July has seen a (more…)

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babygreattit

A baby great tit (Parus major) in the garden in June 2010...

Throughout 2010 I am revisiting the little green nature book that accompanied my childhood and seeing if I can still spot the plants and animals featured in its monthly sketchbook pages.

The book is “Wild Life Through the Year” by Richard Morse and it was published in 1942. You can read about earlier months here.

I have to admit it now seems rather bizarre trying to (more…)

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