|Hoverfly (or Drone Fly?) with another teeny fly sitting 'chilling out' (ho ho) on a Calendula.|
|It may be an Eristalis species but I can't spot any markings on the abdomen so not sure.|
|And another view - nice to have one sitting fairly still for a change!|
Another common bug I can usually find in the depths of winter is the Firebug, of which there are tons in the garden. These photos are all taken near the base of a lime tree (Tilia, not the citrus fruit), one of their favoured spots as they eat lime seeds. They will huddle together in amongst the lichen on the tree, and in the grass at the base of the trunk, and come out when there is a bit of warmth to sun themselves.
|Family group of Firebugs (Pyrrhocoris apterus) near the base of the tree, where there was |
a long clump of grass for shelter (that's what the bits of strawlike grass are which
I couldn't remove for fear of disturbing them).
|A little fly came along for a moment. I don't/can't do this kind of fly ID!|
|Showing how they mass together in amongst the lichen - presumably they keep warm like this.|
If you are spider phobic then quickly scroll past the next two photos!
|Somebody with very long legs left some of them behind after a moult in the ivy.|
|Even after a -2c frost, there were still a few Wolf Spiders sunning themselves on the wall of the|
duck shed! Not the greatest of photos but I prefer to post the ones of now rather than
cheat with better pics taken during the warmer months.
|Not very in focus but I found this large slug about 5 foot up on |
my Silver Birch tree; and it was moving quite quickly too!
|I've come across clear bubbles as well as coffee coloured bubbles like this. |
There is much speculation as to why they do this - and it's not just flies either.
I've seen (and got an image of) a harvestman blowing a bubble too.
Now on to the fungi. I don't find the most exciting or pretty of fungi at home but these next three photos are of something which I'm told is a kind of Coral Fungus, which I've never noticed before. Loads of it came up in an area where several pine trees are growing. I have no idea of what any of the other kinds of fungi are but if anyone knows, I am happy to be enlightened. Bugs are much easier to ID. :-)
|Coral Fungus just starting to appear in amongst the leaf litter.|
|It starts off like this with tall spiky bits.|
|Then bushes out and now you can see why it's called Coral Fungus!|
|And this I have absolutely no idea - it's on an ivy covered fallen rotting apple tree. Any ideas?|
|Little fungi growing out of a tree stump.|
|Another kind of fungi growing from another tree stump, and top right was a large white 'shroom|
growing under a conifer amongst the needles.
I haven't been getting out very often with my camera, not only due to health reasons but also because this time of year the weather is often pretty miserable. I am trying to have some walks around the garden and get a bit of fresh air and exercise though, even if I don't take a camera with me. I've only got one more zap to go (out of 28!) tomorrow evening and then I guess I can collapse in a heap. Oh hang on, I've been doing that for weeks now..... well at least I won't have to get up nearly every day to go to the bloody hospital!!
I've been told the radiation burns (nasty and I'm not grossing anyone out with the details) will probably last about 3 more weeks but won't get any worse.... but I never thought to ask how long before the effects of the chemo leave my body. Having seen the results of my weekly blood tests I'm surprised I can even stand! I guess it's something I can google though. It would be nice to get some energy back and do a few little jobs outside before my op which will be around February. I still need to prune my currant bushes - I really don't need to have twice as much fruit next year and this year's is still in the freezer!
I intend to get another short post in before Xmas, so not wishing you happy anythings just yet. :-)