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Archived & Upcoming Images of the Day
Our first confirmed sighting this year of a Southern Hawker Dragonfly was this male flying overhead and landing in this venerable Pear tree a few metres away. Inspecting the image on screen we note that the 7th segment (4th 'blobs' up from the bottom) is bi-coloured sky blue at the bottom and green at the top.
3 Hours later over the Duck-shaped pond this male Souther Hawker Dragonfly was hawking and hovering over the water. These 3 images are about 140mS apart
At the edge of the path through the meadow as an awful old piece of corrugated iron out in the full sun that we hope might attract reptiles and snakes. So we look under it most days. There are a couple of Ant nests under it, and this one is right at the front edge. When the metal was lowered this time it shifted a bit and exposed about 200 Larvae previously under the metal. In less than 2 minutes hundreds of Ants surged up from below and transported all of them underground to safety in a rescue operation human's would be proud of. The concept of the 'Hive Brain' seems so alien to us.
We think of Rabbits as primarily feeding on grass, but this one seems to enjoy a damson fruit, gone by the next frame.
One normally thinks of rabbits nibbling the grass, but here a youngster picks a stem to bite off and then consume lengthways all the way up to and including the seed head.
This is apples as they 'used to be' - small and bitter Crab Apples in one of the more overgrown hedges.
With the house we inherited 2 adjacent Oak trees at the edge of the orchard. Whether by accident or design they are the two different common species - this is the 'English Oak' which has it's Acorns on the end of stalks
With the house we inherited 2 adjacent Oak trees at the edge of the orchard. Whether by accident or design they are the two different common species - this is the Sessile Oak with the Acorns growing directly from the 'old' twigs.
Late summer starts the fruiting season - Blackberries fruits ripen in relays over the coming weeks.
Late summer starts the fruiting season - Here Blackthorn fruit, called Sloes, are often swallowed whole by Fieldfares and Redwings.
Hrose Chestnut trees produce the gorgeous brown Conkers, but here they are still in their spiky green jacket.
Damsons are small and bitter plums that make tasty Jam.
Late summer starts the fruiting season - here Woody Nightshade flowers and first berries forming.
Late summer starts the fruiting season - here Hawthorn berries adored by small birds.
This is a cultivated 'hedging' rose. Wild Rose Hips are smaller.
Late summer starts the fruiting season - here Elderberry explodes from the hedges
Tawny Owls are back, and to us this looks like a bird we have not seen before with light facial disc, and a very light 'fork' at the top of the face. The downy feathers under the wing as it lands suggest that this may be one of this years brood. Whoopee!
We never got a 'proper' image of this Cricket, but this 'I can't see you so you
cant see me' type image highlights the enormous length of Crickets Antennae
which reach to the top of this image crop's frame.
Crickets have this type of long Antennae.
Grasshoppers have quite short Antennae.
An old (1954) SF film called 'Them' about radiation mutated giant ants is rather fun, and takes some efforts to get the science terms right even in the otherwise dubious premise. The experts on ants are properly called Mrymecologists, and during a battle with a gigantic ant one first shouts 'Shoot the Antennae' and when one has been damaged comes out with 'Shoot the other Antenna - he is helpless without them'.
Can you think of any other film taking the trouble to get the Latin plural-singulars correct?
The 'correctness' does not apply to the sexual innuendo on the expert's (also an expert) daughter. The film also has a very early uncredited appearance of the sadly missed Leonard Nimoy working with Telex machines (yes we remember them) in a military information centre.
This grabbed image of a Green Lacewing on a grass stem seems to be known for it's black markings on the head. Green Lacewing is the generic common name for several related species.
Some loud Buzzard cries over the CCTV system prompted a speedy exit from the back door to catch this wonderful creature quite low right overhead. It was so close that the wing tips on the left image are out of frame.
Here is the Buzzard beak open as it cries, not too pleased to be surprised by the sudden appearance of a human.
The patch of land that spent a few years under a rotting heap of straw bales is providing a good hunting ground for many species. You can't 'sneak up' on the patch, so only human-tolerant birds get their pics taken there. Here one of the female Blackbirds gave us a suspicious look and then carried on probing the loose soil. We see her many days that we walk by this patch on the track perhaps 20m away.
Successive frames at 7 fps show the withdrawal of the beak from another probing, bringing up a splash of fragments of soil beneath her beak.
An attractive moth seen both day and night is the Magpie Moth, here stopping in the hazy sunlight
The Duck-shaped pond hosts numerous small white Moths that flutter about just over the water and then usually perch annoyingly out of view in the marginal vegetation. There are a variety of these China-mark Moths, of which this is the Small China-mark Moth staying for a moment in a less than ideal hiding spot.
Here one of this years new Green Woodpeckers is 'almost' an adult. We think this is a female because the red stripe under the eye that would indicate a male is missing. The stripe doesn't appear in Juveniles and the guide books don't clarify at what stage it should appear.
Following weeks of only glimpses of badgers on a 'Trail-cam' we catch this single frame of Brock looking over the hedge bottom site in the small hours of the morning.
A Peacock Butterfly on the Buddleia flowers that grow up through the tangled Blackberries each year.
The only Hawker or Darter Dragonflies we are seeing at the moment are a couple of male Migrant Hawker Dragonflies hawking high over the meadow. To get a decent sized view of the insect this half-a-second montage has closed the gaps between the frames which at 7 fps should be spaced at about 3 body lengths.
A male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly was making circles over the meadow giving a
chance to get this sequence (again at 7 fps) on a pre-focussed camera
(auto-focus is too slow).
Read this montage strictly right to left ignoring height. No wonder it is so hard to follow them - this montage is less than 1 second of flight.
On warm parts of days we get to see several Common Blue Damselflies in among the taller plants in the meadow. This is a mature male.
High above the 'sea' of wheat this Rook spent a minute or two pecking at something clamped between his claws and the cable. Here we see the bird is extracting seeds from a Wheat head. The stem is still attached.
A Rook makes a short visit to the tree-stump, but nothing to eat here so probably back to raiding the almost ripe wheat.
Adult Robins are very aggressive birds, and here is a juvenile already venting his ire on a poor innocent chaffinch.
A Robin on the ground threatens another flying over, while ignoring the
female Chaffinches on either side.
Robins look lovely but are aggressive little birds.
This Red Admiral Butterfly was feeding from this leaning Teasel, showing us in
successive frames the proboscis deep in a floret and then moving to
Working up this little mirror-image montage was accompanied by the track 'The Red Admiral Butterfly' on the CD 'James Galway and the Chieftains' (also available on YouTube)
A meadow Brown Butterfly extracting nectar from one of the many florets on this Oxeye Daisy.
A swallow flyby showing how these birds spend a lot of their flight time in 'streamlined' mode. All these positions in just over a second - their world must go at a different speed to ours!
The first three (right to left) frames from the above at the accurate spacing for 7 frames per second.
Why is this male Blackbird loading his beak with wiggly worms? He must be feeding a second brood somewhere on our patch.
At another site on the same day the female Blackbird has found some dried fruit to gorge.
This plant parasite, apparently specific to Roses bushes, is this Robin's Pin-cushion. It is really rather pretty, though we doubt that an avid rose grower would agree.
The same Robin's Pincushion as it has developed over 10 days.
We first noticed these deformities in a huge Willow tree that dwarfs the 'back garden' - about 20 variable shaped clumps varying from about 5cm to 20 cm across. This is a group of 3 smaller ones of which we have a clear view.
A web search for this deformity in the Willow tree comes up with the term 'Witches Broom' which seems to be a parasitic bacterium which causes growths from the twigs and is able to cause growths that appear metres across in a variety of different species of tree. Here is more detail of an unobscured one.
Wondering how Witches Broom developed we searched our archive of fixed perspective landscape images we take which includes this tree. 2016 summer images perhaps show just a trace of this deformity, the following winter image none at all, but by the end of May 2017 there are traces which become much pronounced by early July 2017. Dates are left to right as shown in the file name. The single images were taken 23 July 2017.
Iris leaves don't 'wet' - they are 'hydrophobic'.
After heavy rain we found this interesting pattern of water drops on one of the many
horizontal bent over leaves where you can see the magnifying effect of the water
drops on the texture of the leaves.
Early 'microscopes' consisted of squinting through a water drop in a holder, later replaced by glass spheres used the same way, before the development of early forms of ground and polished glass lenses allowing both microscopes and telescopes.
By the margin of the Iris dominated main pond quite a lot of Water Mint grows, and this Meadow Brown Butterfly has arrived to feed on the flowers.
The Buzzard then turned towards the camera and from detail in the cloud edge we constructed this accurate montage. The first 5 images (from the left) are at about 7fps, but the remainder are alternate frames to avoid too much overlap.
The Buzzard reversed direction and flew back past us. This is 3 selected frames closely spaced.
This buzzard is a treat - calling our attention with the characteristic plaintive cries.
A few Peacock butterflies are appearing - most of the butterflies share our proliferation of flowering teasels. The underside of the wings nearest to us is in fact very dark, but the sunlight is showing us the pattern on the top of same wings shining through.
We seem to have more than usual Red Admiral Butterflies this year, increasing the chance of 2 on the same teasel at once, even if for only a few seconds. The insect on the right is pristine, but the other seems to have been around for longer and had time to get caught in the beak of a bird, escaping by leaving a bit of it's wing in the beak.
This large White Butterfly is another of the multitude of visitors to the generous teasel flowers.
Its is not often that you can ID the species of an insectivorous bird's catch,
but there she clearly has a Plume Moth in her beak - what seem to be the 'Large
white Plume Moth' judging by colour and size.
Click Here to see this pretty insect in flight.
This male Blackbird has selected the top of a Tesco Strawberry. The Grey Squirrels must be too busy 'stealing' wheat from the farmer's crop to have left this long enough for another visitor to get his share.
One of our neighbours is making a special effort to help House Sparrows breed. Whether this is one or their successes, or one of ours, we have no idea. But the parents seem to like feeding their youngsters here, and they are welcome.
The House Sparrows often feed their youngsters with peanut fragments, but also feed them with other items we have not managed to spot around the bottom of this gate.
A Red Admiral Butterfly feeding on a freshly flowering (un-divided ring of flowers so far) Teasel. In the Left hand image the butterfly has it's proboscis deep inside one of these tall florets. At the right a floret has pulled out of the Teasel head as the Butterfly extracts the feeding tube, something we have seen several times before but never had the camera focussed to catch the moment before the insect flicks it away.
A Newly emerged male Brimstone butterfly is feeding on this Teasel in flower for some days - the ring of flowers has split to grow up and down - this is on the lower ring
A male Bullfinch eating the clover flowers.
A male Chaffinch looking for seeds down on the ground.
We always think it shame that some bird pairs get so aggressive towards each other immediately the breeding season ends. The 'worst' offenders are Robins and these Chaffinches - both successful species, so who are we to criticise.
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