Monday, 29 May 2017

Tiny Green Bug

When I went to clean out one of Penny's stainless steel bowls a few days ago my attention was caught by a tiny beetle scurrying round it. In the sunlight it was shimmering green or blue, depending how the light caught it:





To say the least it was very difficult for the pocket Nikon to focus as it rarely stayed still and at maybe 6mm long it was a very small target.

The nearest I can get with identification is the Green Dock Beetle Gastrophysa viridula.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

A New Garden Youngster

As I was clearing out some of the long grass next to the garden pond I spotted something brown move:

young toad

Usually I disturb frogs but this time it was a pleasant surprise to see it was a young toad:

young toad

This is the first young one I have seen.  My guess would be it is about 2 years old.
I have never spotted any toad spawn in the pond but they could well have joined the frogs.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A Lucky Escape

Once again while cutting the grass I was startled as one of the garden frogs broke cover:

Common Frog

Common Frog

It was a good job this little beauty had jumped out of the way of the mower.

One photo I forgot to use last time.
A view across the Lincolnshire farmland from the footpath round Covenham Reservoir. Difficult to tell from this photo is just how steeply the ground falls away around the edge of the 218 acre reservoir which is man made and part built above ground level. The footpath is about 20 ft above the surrounding countryside:


Monday, 22 May 2017


Following the torrential rain of Saturday, Sunday started beautifully sunny and reasonably warm. I decided it was time for a trip to Covenham Reservoir hoping there would be some sailing action to watch. We arrived getting on for 2 o'clock but the first boat was only just being launched:



We went for a walk along the footpath which circles the reservoir to see what wildlife was about.
Not a lot really, at least not along the area we walked. My joints are no longer up to walking the full 2+ miles it takes to walk right round and Penny was getting quite warm even though it had clouded over.

A few ducks:

and the odd gull:

no Wagtails this time, maybe later in the year.

I kept my eye on the only bit of activity:



As we were about to leave it looked as though there would be more activity later on:


but it was time to go back to the car and let Penny have a well deserved drink of water.

Finally a short part of our journey back.
Leaving the reservoir car park and travelling through the two villages called Covenham. They are adjoining and each has its own CofE church.

Some information about  Covenham can be seen on the GENUKI site.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Five Years of Retirement

Not me. Penny. How time flies. Five years since she joined me.
It's a hard life supervising me as I potter round the garden.

My 40 mph couch potato:
DSCN7227 Penny

Weather yesterday.
Just a bit on the wet side:
Weather 17 May 2017

More rain (38mm 1.5in) in one day than the whole of last month.
UV has been up to 7 on this scale recently. Well down yesterday.
Same thing with solar radiation which recently reached 700 - 800 watts/sq m..

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Scarce Fungus Weevil

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

I was about to move a planter I have hanging on the fence when I spotted what at first I thought was a dollup of bird dung but on closer examination turned out to be alive:

 Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

It was such a strange looking creature the like of which I had not seen before.
I just had to take several photos from different angles to give me a chance of identifying it:

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Next job was to find an identification. I ended up on the Naturespot web site and after scrolling through dozens of bug photos eventually found a perfect match.
Size: about 10mm. Common name: Cramp-ball Fungus Weevil.

This weevil is not as scarce as its name would suggest.
You can see more information on this page at Naturespot.


Orchid Pruning Scissors

Found these little beauties on eBay.
Also on Amazon and could well be available at other places:

Orchid Scissors

Total length about 6.5 inches (17cm) with sturdy sharp stainless steel blades. Spring effective but doesn't need a lot of effort to close the blades and cut flower stems. They are ideal for getting into tight spaces without damaging surrounding foliage.  Soft grip handles are comfortable to hold and use. Not just for Orchids of course. Prices seem to vary between £6 and £9.

Monday, 15 May 2017


There are quite a few large frog tadpoles swimming round the garden pond:


My one and only large strawberry plant grown from seed continues to develop:


Early strawberry plants (Vibrant), bought bare root and listed as fruiting next year, are producing flowers for this year:


A couple of Outdoor Girl tomato plants in an automatic watering system are now showing their first flower buds:


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Poor, But the Best So Far

Had to stop and watch a while when I saw two Swallows flying around as we went walkabout mid-morning today. Fortunately they eventually settled on an old outhouse which is being converted though quite a distance away even on full zoom:


a cropped version:


Disappointing clarity though probably the best I've managed to date with Swallow photography.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus lapidarius, probably a queen, just outside the back door this morning:

Red-tailed bumblebee

Red-tailed bumblebee

Red-tailed bumblebee

Quite lethargic as it was still fairly cool outside.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wordless Wednesday



Saturday, 6 May 2017

Manby Church

As our Post Ofice was closed years ago and the remaining village shop is closed for about three months while extensive alterations are made I had to go to the next village to do a bit of shopping. As it was beautifully sunny, though with a bitter wind, I decided to take a look round the outside of their church.

The tower from the west end:
Manby Church

and from the north side:
Manby Church

A closer view of the entrance porch:
Manby Church

Around the top of the tower are the inevitable gargoyles:
Manby Church

Manby Church

Manby Church

A close view of one of the spire pinnacles which stand atop each corner of the tower:
 Manby Church

Taking photos with a camera with a decent power of zoom lens is one of few ways to get a decent view of intricate carvings which are so high up.

A few of the grave markers:
Manby Church

Manby Church

Manby Church

Don't often see any this shape.
Difficult to tell from the photo that both taper along their length:
Manby Church

Another day I must have a look round inside.
Related Posts with Thumbnails