Residence Sunflowers – Part 7 – Great Green Bush Cricket

I nearly missed her, despite her substantial size, so well does her color blend in with the sunflower stalks and leaves.

I remember that as a child I caught one of these in bare hand and it bit me rather painfully.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Residence Sunflowers – Part 6 – Itty Bitty Facehugger

Last year I have shown you bright yellow crab spider who was munching on bees. This year I did not see a grown-up one, only this one little baby. Still white, slightly translucent and tiny, about the size of a pinhead. Sorry for a bit blurry pictures, but the little bugger did not stop, it kept wandering about and performing strange gymnastics. And I have forgotten to take my monopod with me, so this is shot completely freehand.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

 

The circle of life

Nature as we imagine for children is this sweet place with fluffy bunnies with chequered hankies, and when we grow up we still call it “Mother Nature” as if it were some nurturing, benevolent entity. Actual nature doesn’t care for that shit. It’s a cruel and violent place where 90% of baby bunnies don’t get to see a second summer. But in nature, death is never wasteful. One animals tragic death is another’s lucky find. So here’s an unlucky shrew and a been grass snake, and some very happy insects and ant.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Poor Spider Didn’t Stand a Chance

When watering my citruses today, a movement caught my eye in one of the bowls. A tiny black parasitic wasp in a struggle with a spider twice its size. I did not have my camera with me and of course, I could not go and get it, so I snapped at least a few pictures with my phone. I assume the wasp has won and laid the spider aside for afters because it has left it lay there all limp and motionless, danced around a bit and then left.

Pictures below the fold – content warning spiders and predation.

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June Light

It’s that wonderful time of the month when Nightjar shares her portraits of light.

In the month of the Summer Solstice sunlight is brighter than ever and nature is bracing for the dry season. Many wildflowers have gone to seed and are drying out already (some are doing weird stuff like the wild chive in the last photo… perhaps confused by the unstable weather?) and bugs are very busy. Backlighting is trickier this time of the year but I tried to play with June Light from all angles and I think it was worth it.

©Nightjar, all rights reserved

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Flowers and Aliens

First, remember the not black tulips? Seems like the package contained two varieties, with the pink ones being earlier and the almost black ones being later. Here they finally are:

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Next one is true kingcups that grow along our little creek. I wanted to get closer but then chose dry feet…

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Dungbeetles are no aliens, Sorry to disappoint you. But I quite like them.

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This, OTOH, is aliens. I guess at some point they are replaced every year by ordinary fern plants, but this is  not something that just grows, it’s the result of extraterrestrial mingling.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Spring Comes to the Woods

From my regular walks. Some flowers are in my garden, but the delicate clover blossoms are in the woods, where they’re grabbing the sunlight now before the trees grow their leaves.

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I planted these last autumn, and the package promised almost black flowers. Well, never trust a package, but they ARE lovely.

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Will I ever get people who use poison against dandelion? I hope not.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

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Monday Mercurial: Bee happy!

Apparently, one side of our garden has been overtaken by common sand bees/ mining bees, andrena flavipes.

I noticed a lot of activity last week and right now it’s all buzz and swarming. I was at first confused since wild bees are usually solitary and it took me all of my google -fu to find out that the most likely explanation is that it’s a nesting aggregation and the huge traffic we’re seeing right now is the drones hanging around to have a lot of sex before they die, so in a few days the whole thing will be over.

This is a relief because in about two weeks the workpeople will start rebuilding our garden stairs and stuff and I was worried that the bees would get in their way or would have their home destroyed. As far as I’m concerned, having those bees here is like a knighting for my garden as an insect friendly space.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

At work!

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A different kind of wild bee.

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That fruit tree is currently BUZZING.

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A Day at the Zoo 15: A Different Kind of Tit Picture

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Our orang utans are doing their best to help with the species conservation, although they demonstrated well that humans can’t plan everything. About 12 years ago a mature orang utan lady and her daughter moved in, hoping that the lady would breed with our male. Turned out the female adult was pregnant already, surprising everybody with a baby in summer. But even after the baby was grown quite a bit, the lady told the dude in no certain terms that he could stuff his dick into the meat grinder or she’d do that for him.

He waited a few years until the daughter had matured and then successfully mated with her, having several kids. He got sent to a different zoo last year to see if could keep up his good work in the conservation of this wonderful species.

A Day at the Zoo 14: I don’t know if any of them is called Alvin

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Chinese chipmunks, also known as cute overload.

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I love those little tufts on the ears, so much like tiny horns.

© Giliell, all rights reserved

© Giliell, all rights reserved

And a grey chipmunk that inhabits the ground of the enclosure. It was not chilled out as the other one.

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