Blackheaded Cardinal Beetle

This little buddy has climbed out of a hollow brick yesterday when I was processing dog-daisies into chemical weapons against wooly aphids infesting my bonsai trees (long story).

It was kind enough to remain in place for quite some time, allowing me to take pictures from all possible angles.

© 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.

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

An Updeerte: To the Reh-scue

Yesterday I posted about our resident deer and fawn. Yesterday afternoon our friends visited us in our garden, and while we were sitting there, we could hear the little one call out for mummy and sure she showed up:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Only that this time the little one wasn’t hidden in our garden, which is open to the woods, but in our neighbour’s which is partly open to ours, but closed to the woods. I’ve written about this problem for our deerest friends before: They run to the back where there’s a fence. Despite all of us leaving the garden so that mummy could come and get her baby, she did not dare to come closer towards our house where the opening to the neighbour’s garden is and the fawn stood at the fence in the back crying its heart out, so Mr and I decided to start a rescue operation.

We went to the neighbour’s backyard (yay for good neighbours and the permission to trespass) and opened the door in the back so the little one could leave.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

At first it was still standing, crying its heart out, while we could hear mummy rustle in the ferns behind the fence. As we came closer it did what fawns instinctively do: it lay down and kept very, very still, trusting its camouflage:

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Find the fawn. If we hadn’t known it was there we would have walked right past it. As it was we had to go within a metre of the poor thing, probably scaring it half to death, but it was lying right beside the door. Of course we didn’t get any closer than we had to and didn’t touch it, the pics are all taken with my big lens and Mr was very careful not to disturb it.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As soon as we retreated the cutie staggered out of the door and I went back to close it again. Our neighbour is very firm with closing those doors because there’s also wild boars  around. I could see it lying in the ferns and I heard mummy a few metres off. Since there was no more crying I suppose they left together soon afterwards.

Fawn-tastic

Some evening last week one of local roe deer grazed in the lower, and so far mostly overgrown part of the garden.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

You can see the ugly old fence post in the left corner marking the border between the garden that belongs to our house and the part that we merely rent from the city.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

We keep the brambles at bay, so while there’s tons of stinging nettles, there’s also grass and herbs.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

What I didn’t know at that time was that she has a sweet little fawn hidden somewhere close. We only found out when on Saturday we heard a sound that was actually more like a bird of prey and thought that maybe there was an injured animal in the backyard. Since then we’ve been seeing them on and off, she tolerates us at up to about 10m, but of course I usually don’t have the camera ready, but today I had. Tell me if that isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. I banned everybody from the garden for the next half hour so they could have a bit of peace after I took my pics, but they seem to regard the kids on the trampoline as a non-threat anyway.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Friday Feathers: Adorafluffballs

First of all, a happy first of May. We may not be out there protesting, but it’s even more important than ever to defend the rights of working people and the working class, as they’re currently, quite literally, sacrificed of the altar of profit.

Having said that, here’s some cute.

The Nile geese had chicks, or whatever you crazy Anglophones call them.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Wednesday Wings: a Eurasian Blackcap, or how Sexism is Just Plain Stupid

Because obviously half the bird population does not halve a black cap, just like most blackbirds are brown indeed.

But it’s a cute LBB (Little Brown Bird) and I was happy to take her picture.

©Giliell, all rights reserved Always get that first shot, because you never know if you will have time to adjust the camera

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Monday Mercurial: Duck, Duck, Goose!

The usual residents on any pond are mallards, who I think are underappreciated for their beauty, both male and female, just because they are common. Makes me wonder if people who live in places with colourful parrot that make us ohh and ahh see them the same way as we do with out local wildlife.

Anyway, mallards also feature in the best known German children’s song: Alle meine Entchen (all my little ducks):

It’s a 150 years old and will probably last at least another 150 years: It features animals, is easy to sing and play and describes something even city kids may see and know.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

We also got a pair of Egyptian geese at the pond. While originally coming from, you guess, Egypt, they are now pretty common around Europe. They can cause trouble in places where humans like to spread on laws they consider THEIR lawns, but are for the rest harmless.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Yellowhammers Visit.

I had this visitor a few weeks ago, but the light was bad and I was unable to identify the species. Luckily my biologist friend was able to forward it to an ornithologist who was so very kind and identified the bird for me. So when yesterday they returned in good light, I knew what I am looking at.

The ornithologist also sent some bad news with the identification. He confirmed my subjective observation that there are significantly fewer birds. Some species are actually becoming rare – the whole genus Carduelis for example (greenfinches, goldfinches, siskins). This winter I have not seen a single specimen of these three species, whereas in previous years greenfinches and siskins came in flocks counting dozens.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full

And yes, we finally had a few cms of snow. This week seems to have been the actual winter, what we had before was merely agonizingly long and dark fall.

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

Holidays: Friday Feathers

Two marvellous birds from the Zoo

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

 

And as an unrelated bonus:

A video I stumbled across indulging in my love for Peter, Paul and Mary: Puff, the Magic Dragon.

What I love about the performance isn’t so much the artists, but the audience who is singing along, or at least mouthing the words, from the toddler to the grandpa.