Monday, 30 September 2013

Angle Shades

A really beautiful moth. What a great name, except I keep calling Angel Shades. 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Parasol mushrooms

 I know autumn is coming when the parasol mushrooms appear in the park. It is as if someone has thrown giant flatbreads into the grass. They are unmistakably tall and large, some about a foot across. The patterns on the tops are fantastic, all unique in their freshly-baked way.

Monday, 23 September 2013

The colour orange

I enjoy the first pockets of autumn colour as they appear on the trees. One oak in the park was dropping bright leaves into the pond. They looked like golden boats as they swirled about. 

The red oak tree always produces a great variety of leaf colours, some almost purple.

I found a chilled small copper butterfly, which was great because he was too cold to fly off. When it's hot they are almost impossible to photograph, the move all the time. The light was not good for photos today, so a lot of my pictures came out blurred (I hate the phrase camera shake, it makes me feel very old). I did consider going back to take some more of this chap, I'm sure he won't have managed to get far. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Autumn is coming

Now is the time for cobwebs and Crane flies. Go out early on a bright morning and look at the sunlight turning the dew on the cobwebs into rainbow colours. 

I was amazed to find so many active insects in the grass despite the morning chill. Crane flies (Daddy-long-legs) were out in their hundreds. They are around for a brief time, living for only two weeks, then die.

Autumn is coming. I'm looking forward to the first thick fog.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Caz and Spike get blown away

Hello. Posts have been a bit sporadic lately - flu hasn't helped this week. Spike (Andrea) and I are in the process of overhauling of our website and blog but will try to continue to talk to my loyal followers as we do it.

We had a stand at Wimbledon Common Autumn open day last Sunday. It was a bit of a disaster. We managed to assemble the gazebo on the mud and get our table up with all our stuff on it just as the wind started to pick up. Spike went off to get a much needed coffee. I kept pushing gazebo poles back into sockets as they popped out. Spike's delicately placed hop decorations started thrashing about and the sides of the tent started to balloon. I took the sides off in an effort to stop the whole thing ending up on the log pile behind us.

About 10 minutes later and before the event had even opened a massive gust of wind buckled the orange stand next to us and started throwing all our books onto the mud. We tried to weight everything down but we had to dismantle the tent as the poles kept coming unplugged and waving about. Then it started to rain. We sold two Spotter guides at a knock down price. We made £3. 

But the stand did look nice, had to show you that.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Owl Pellets and mouse bones

If you are sharp-eyed enough to find an owl pellet it's worth taking the time to prize open the furry mass and see what is inside. Quite often there are beetle wing cases. But if you're very lucky you might find the tiny jaw bone of a mouse like this one, which is only 15mm long. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Spider season

This time of year is great for looking at spiders. They're all over the place, spinning webs and getting large and fat on flies. If you can watch one building a web it really is fascinating. Or, if you have a magnifying glass you can take a really good look. They are remarkable creatures.