Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bon Appetit

Saturday really was a beautiful day, fall is with us. And though temperatures are still warm for a Yorkshireman used to northern English Octobers mid 70s is very pleasant indeed with bright sun and gentle breezes.

My best find for the day was a happy accident. Many times I've found the otherwise 'invisible' by their effect on those around them. Its a little like finding astronomical objects by the gravitational effect on those visible bodies close to them. The bug equivalent is the fly, bee, wasp or damselfly thats sitting oddly, upside down or otherwise off kilter. Find one of those and there is usually a reason that you dont see at first glance. It can be a little Jagged Assassin bug with the fly impaled as it hides inside the flower or a camouflaged Crab spider.

Saturday it was a small dark bumblebee dangling seemingly by one leg in the rosemary bush. On closer investigation this was revealed as its being the main course for a mantis.

I can't help but wonder if this is the very same mantis Ive found in the same shrub 3 times now this year. In  May and again in July. Hmmmm if so she was missing half an antenna... do they grow back? It was fun to watch her eat the bee, especially once she'd removed a leg and was gnawing on it like you or I with a chicken drumstick.

I checked some of the other images and this one is missing half an antenna! So the odds are good that its at least the one from July if not neccesarily May.

This one also looked full of eggs I think, look at that darkening and swollen abdomen.

Banished Jr. found this beauty on his swing set.

A jumping spider one of the Salticidae and a big one too. Big enough to get a nice close-up on the head to see the eye arrangement and a hint o those green mouth parts. First time I saw that I thought I was seeing things.
We spent much of the day in the yard around our little shade bed under the big trees creating the Banished family traditional halloween graveyard. 
Welcome one and all!

I really love what Mrs B did with Tommy the zombie baby this year. The ossiary/skullheap is inspired I think and sets the little rugrat off to perfection.

Little Tommy at sunset.


  1. You are just so lucky to have that wealth of interesting insect life around you.
    I've just been in to our garden to check (by torch-light I might add) and all I could find were 2 slugs.

    I didn't bother getting the flash out.

    O.S.M. B:53

  2. You know, slugs are thankfully something we don't see in great numbers. They used to be the bane of my life in Harrogate and in Gloucester especially, But then you don't have the mozzies, the hurricanes or the earthquakes (that one was new this year). Good luck on the memories project by the way