Friday, 8 August 2014

Quite a Day

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield
A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

Having just finished my second book of the holidays I’m almost wanting to be back at work and enthusing about space exploration and wildlife.

Dave Goulson’s book is full of amazing information including why Bees have smelly feet and how they maintain their body temperature. It always intrigues me, that so many people have very obscure interests and get a salary to follow their hobby (I wish I’d had better career advice.). One of the best chapters is however when Dave describes the environs of his second home … one can but dream.

Coincidentally I related my attempt to teach Spanish students, how to use a pooter only for the class to fall about laughing, to IR at the weekend, only to read the self same experience in this book?

Well Bradley Wiggins ‘My Time’ next on the reading list.

Bombus pascuorum Common Carder Bumblebee

Bombus terrestris Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus pratorum The Early Bumblebee

Seven-spot ladybird
Coccinella 7-punctata

Northumberland’s County Flower
Bloody Cranesbill (Crane’s-bill)
Geranum sanguineum
Leaves turn red in autumn
Fruit pod shaped like a Crane’s bill’?

This however was the highlight of my day.

This fantastic little bird let me get quite close. However it rarely appeared without some branches in front of it. I sat for over thirty minutes (on damp grass) trying to get some decent photos. These are OK but don't capture the active hunting of insects, the tail flicking and the flash of bright orange from the tail when it landed on a branch.

Well maybe in my dreams I'll have a farmhouse in France and a half decent camera?

Robin’s Pincushion
This s a chemically induced distortion of the axillary bud of Rosacae plants.
Caused by a group of larvae of the wasp Diploepsis rosae.

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