Thursday, 4 November 2010

Curious Creatures

We are always finding lovely curious creatures in our garden and the boys are always right on hand to come and discover them with me. They often come round shouting that they've found something interesting and here they are looking at another 'interesting' thing.

This year has been no exception and our slower pace of non-mechanised farming has allowed us
a small window into the life of a field spider. Here you can see the spider's nest looking like a ping-pong ball sized hot air balloon. The intracacy of design is truly amazing and indeed even humbling. It's like parchment paper in texture, reinforced with extra dark 'strings' towards to opening at the base. There were loads of these little marvels deep in the base of the grasses of the meadows and we only discovered them
because we were scything. Had we been using a tractor or lawn-mower these wonders would have been missed, eradicated by the 'modern marvels of mechanisation'. However, by using a scythe, these nests have not been minced up with rotating blades and will carry the next generation of spiders that will hopefully guard some of our biodiversity.

Then we found this beautiful shiny blue-ish black beetle (?) that was about 2cm long. We have no idea what it is so if anyone can identify it then please do post a comment.

And then we were priviledged to see this butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Once again we don't know what sort of butterfly it is (or maybe even a day-flying moth) but I'm trying to track down a name.

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