Friday, 2 October 2015


While I was sketching some pine cones something scuttled out and went between the leaves of my sketchbook. It was a tiny pseudoscorpion. They live in leaf litter and inject other tiny creatures with paralyzing venom delivered from their tiny pincers and then cover them with a liquid that soupifys them prior to ingestion. When they think they are under attack they pull everything in and look like a tiny speck of leaf litter. They are incredibly beautiful and its just amazing to watch something so tiny.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Slow to grow

Things seem to have been really slow in the garden this year. My leeks are still pencil thin, the runner beans are tiny and the sweetcorn and squashes are only just starting to flower. On the plus side the swallows seem to have done well having at least four broods of 4 or 5 young. Unfortunately the sparrowhawk took to hurtling through the barn to ambush them so we had to shut the middle door to prevent this. The wildflower border is doing well attracting bees, butterflies and hoverflies and yesterday a wood wasp flew into the porch. It looks scary but what looks like a sting is actually its ovipositor for laying eggs under the bark of trees.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Lidl wildflower mix

The border where we sowed a really cheap wildflower seed mix from Lidl is full of colour and life. As usual the ox-eye daisies are taking over the garden but I don't mind as its my favourite flower and the bees and hoverflies love it. I have had a lovely crop of carrots from a tub in the greenhouse.

Lidl wildflower mix

Lidl wildflower mix

Ox-eye daisies and cranesbill

Yummy carrots

Ebb and Flo

Ebb and Flo left us on 27/06. They set off on a walk and refused to be turned back, we followed at a distance and they headed straight for one of the ponds, they even knew where there was a gap under the wire fence. There was already a female duck with 12 ducklings there who all hid in the reeds. we left them to it and for the next couple of days went up with some wheat for them, though they seemed very nervous suddenly. However we had a really bad thunderstorm on the 30th and the next morning they were in the garden along with their mum and the drake and all were  ravenous. Now every morning they turn up, sometimes just Ebb and Flo, sometimes with their parents and sometimes with another female.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Macro moths

Barrie has got some extension tubes for his camera so he can take macro shots of our garden wildlife. We put the moth trap out Friday night and were really pleased to get some Elephant Hawkmoths, among many other moths.

Elephant Hawkmoth

Buff Ermine

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Ebb and Flo

Our guests are soon going to be leaving us. In two weeks the change has been amazing we literally wake up to different ducks every day. They have got very bossy- they ran out of food in the pen (they eat a lot!) and they made sure we heard about it. They love coming on the allotment when we are digging to find worms but go and sit in their carrier when they want to go back to the pond. We can see them watching the other birds flying over, their own flight feathers are just coming through. We think we were very lucky with the names, Ebb has blue showing more on his head than Flo so we think he's male and Flo properly quacks, although I've never really noticed if its true that only females quack - I never thought I'd need to know.

A serene Flo

Bioblittz in the garden

Sort of bio blitzed our garden today ie walked around with a camera and photographed as many insects as I could. Not got round to identifying them all yet but amazed by the variety and how beautiful even the tiniest little fly can be. A patch of nettles was fascinating, spiders, ladybirds and various flies were hunting smaller insects and some tiny little flies were semaphoring with their wings for mates and battling interlopers. On the windowsill of the house there was a large fly seemingly guarding a territory and chasing off (mating ?) with other flies.

Blow fly that was seeing off all comers

Wasp on cotoneaster

Wood boring beetle -Hylecoetus dermestoides

14-spot ladybird - how does it manage crawling over those spines


Jumping spider

Snipe fly