Monday, 19 October 2009

Worms, Sheep and Creativity

Lovely sunny afternoon yesterday so managed to mow the grass. I wonder how many more times it will need cutting this year. Was someone laughing at me heaving the mower about.


All day there were three Crane Flies on the outside of the kitchen window. They hardly moved at all. I have always know these as Daddy Long Legs for obvious reasons. When a nipper I was terrified of them as dozens (so it seemed)  flitted round the bedroom light. I am assuming these are Crane Flies though they seemed smaller than those normally seen.

Crane Fly

Jan of ShySongbird's Twitterings has come to the rescue again. Jan identified the insect as a Folded Wing Crane Fly (Limonia nubeculosa). Thanks Jan.

A regular job here is dropping any uncooked kitchen waste into the wormery. My worms exist on  potato peelings, tea bags and banana skins as their main diet with other bits as they come to hand. Citrous fruit cannot be used but they seem to like Papaya and Melon skins. Damp torn or shredded paper can also be put in, but not the shiny type.

Tiger Worms (Eisenia fetida) are used as they tend to live nearer  the surface and do a great job of turning waste food into a rich compost with the added benefit of producing a liquid which can be diluted to make a useful liquid fertiliser.

Tiger Worms get their name from the pale bands around their reddish bodies. They are smaller and sleeker than your average earthworm. They breed readily and can often be found in compost heaps.

Tiger Worms

 On our expeditions to the field at the end of the lane I see the sheep in the neighbouring field have been serviced so the Spring lamb production has started. Unfortunately I didn't manage a photo of the ram with his bag of dye tied round his chest but the patches of dye on the rumps of the ewes show that he has finished his part of the process. The ewes seem to look to the ram for protection. Normally if they sense danger they go though a gate into a further field but when the ram was there they gathered round him.


A few days ago Glo of Porcelain Rose left a link to this in a comment. Somebody's creative juices were working overtime again. I do admire people who can think up things like this.


Thank you Glo. Brilliant! Also Glo has left a link to a picture of a sleepy hedgehog HERE. There are many fabulous nature photos on the site.

Last night I got round to watching Autumn Watch and enjoyed the piece about Hedgehogs. Interesting that hibernating animals have to wake up every so often to get rid of waste products, then need a short normal sleep before going back into hibernation.


  1. Another interesting and informative post. Thanks for the gen on You Tube. Still not managed to master Captivate 4. be ok but it records everything you do, mistakes and all. Then one has to put a voice over on the finished project. A nightmare.

  2. Thanks Adrian. Had to look up Captivate 4. Ah. I have the feeling that Adobe produce complex software. It may well be very flexible but I would guess a steep learning curve. I hope Molly has learned to cover her ears ;)

  3. Your grass may be growing more slowly because of the cold - mine is not growing because of the dry! That's OK with me - but the rest of the garden needs water too :-( That's a lovely creative piece in the Daily Bird!

  4. Yes Mick. The grass growth has slowed down except for a few clumps of bird seed which have produced vigorous growth. I may have to dig those out.
    Glo has a really good creative imagination ;)

  5. An interesting post John, like you I do wonder if the flies are a little small to be the Common Crane Fly, I think they may be the Folded Wing Crane Fly Limonia nubeculosa (I could be wrong). When I was at secondary school and returned after the Summer holidays, each year the outer walls of our school used to be covered in Crane flies every September, I have never seen so many together since, I remember a lot of the girls were terrified of them but they just fascinated me although like you I wasn't so keen if they were in my bedroom.

    I see the Crane Fly is in severe decline which in turn is threatening the survival of upland wild birds such as the Golden Plover which feed on them. If you are interested there is a short BBC article here

  6. What a great post John. Interesting.
    How wonderful! We have a celebrity in our midst! :o))

  7. A very informative post! Good to see the negative and positive aspects of the long legged creature. Lovely juicy worm photos! Very interesting about the sheep ... I didn't know about the colouring and what it indicated.

    Good that your lawn was dry enough and the weather sunny enough for the mowing to take place. I think Bobby is glad his four feet are firmly planted and he isn't expected to help out. He makes a good foreman!

    What kind of mower do you heave around? I used to have a hard to start gas mower which could pull your arm out of its socket, but then replaced it with an electric mower. I got tired of tripping over the cord, and dragging it in and out of trees, so I wasn't too upset when it gave up. Now I have a battery operated mower...It's heavier than the electric one, but starts easy, has no cord, and just plugs in a socket in the garage in between mowings.

    Thanks for the mention and the newspaper clip. Glad you like it! Sometimes I can't help myself!

  8. Thanks Jan. You have hit the nail on the head. A long search confirmed your identification of the Folded Wing Crane Fly. Brilliant. At the back of my mind I thought the wings should have been sticking out for the Common Crane Fly.

    That is an interesting link. Come to think of it I haven't seen many leather jackets in the soil these past few years.

  9. Thank you Pam. Pleased you found it interesting.

  10. Good morning Glo. I found out about the markings on the sheep here some years ago. All was explained when I took a class of children to the local agricultural college. When you think about it it is an simple and easy way to see which ewes have been serviced by the ram.

    I have a petrol mower with powered wheels. The heaving about is in having to drag it backwards from some inconvenient parts of the garden which are too narrow to turn it round. One day I will get 'round tuit' and modify the layout.

  11. Another interesting article. I look forward to reading these blogs, they always intrigue and interest me. I am very glad to being a part of this site. Thanks for keeping us informed and God Bless!


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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