Friday, 28 June 2013

The Wonderful North Devon Coast

A few days off on the fantastic North Devon coast and the sun shone. 

If you need a tonic then this is the place to be. We took a stroll around Morte Point and here are some of my piccies.

sea campion
Some very rare totally natural vegetation
View with the lighthouse peeking out in the distance
Common seals

Foxgloves lining path

Rock pool life - including an anemone

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Damselfly spreading its wings

A wonderfully warm day meant that more damselflies emerged in our garden pond.  This individual was close to taking flight for the first time, but its wings still had a few creases...

Alternatively click on the following link to watch it: YouTube

Here are some stills of the same individual - it was quite exquisite:


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Beauty in the common

NOW is the peak for the summer's common spotted orchids; they're at their brightest and in full flower on many meadows and byways.  Roadsides are full of ox-eye daisies and if you look carefully you might find orchids poking up too.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Deer runner...

YESTERDAY evening I did a bit of wandering around the valleys near Hazelbury Manor, Corsham in Wiltshire.  I was not alone...a deer was flushed and dashed across the field in front of me.  This stitched image shows its bid to run for cover...

I think that it makes for quite an interesting photo.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Damselflies make hay

MY pond is now a hive of summer activity.  Whilst more damselflies are emerging on every warm, sunny day, others are "mating" and laying eggs in pairs.  Up to three such pairs have been seen, with an occasional singleton intruder seen off swiftly.

Monday, 3 June 2013

When tadpoles attack...

THERE'S nothing, so I have discovered, that frog tadpoles like more than frozen, boiled lettuce. Now I must admit that my investigation has not been comprehensive, but cooked lettuce that has then been frozen causes a feeding frenzy that would put a starved shoal of piranhas to shame.

Once discovered the wee tadders latch on to the leaves and motor around the pond until they hit the edge or some other immovable object - its quite hilarious.  Here they are attacking a leaf:

Damselfly eruption in our garden

THE whole point of almost breaking my back to dig a big hole in our garden, and then fill up our local tip with spoil (ruining my suspension in the process), was to create an environment that would encourage the amazing and magical transition from nymph to adult - I am, of course, referring to damselflies and dragonflies.  

Admittedly the frogs, toads, beetles etc. are also pretty special, but not much comes close to a damselfly emerging from the pond.  I was not sure when this might happen, but last weekend, with the consistent warmth (at last), all systems were go and the rush was on.  

The first I knew of it was the sight of iridescent sets of wings catching the sun and alighting on my hand!  Once I looked, I realised that there were loads of empty bodies clasping iris stems where the insect had already completed its transition into adulthood.  So the next day I was out early, camera in hand and this is the result...

Here is a sequence of this magical process of emergence and the outcome at the end of a large red damselfly (I think).  Incidentally this is a very slow process!


Another adult in the garden: