Time Flies By


The windows have become like tv screens as the season roll by displaying all their wonders. These are amongst the last photos I have taken since becoming ill which was back in the autumn of 2019. Where did autumn go …? Winter arrived and how fast January went by, eh?  Spring feels like it is just around the corner, and it will be here before we know it. Spring is my favourite season, and whilst I look forward to it, it all seems to fly by so very quickly.


Autumn Leaves


Autumn


Autumn


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 20th & 22nd  October 2019
Place: Local woodland, Staffordshire


 

Rainbow’s End


These two photographs show the same stunning autumn rainbow which appeared as a part of a ‘double rainbow’ … there was a fainter one above this one. Unfortunately I had my macro lens on at the time, and I know how quickly rainbows can fade. So I grabbed my camera and took what I could. I wish I could have got the whole arching rainbow in all its magnificence … and even the one one above it, but at least I have these.


Rainbow


Rainbow


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 17th October 2019
Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire


 

Small And Mighty

Stump Puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme) There appeared to be hundreds of these tiny balls swarming over a mound of earth near the river. They are apparently feeding off a buried stump, and are usually seen in large numbers.

Stump Puffball Lycoperdon pyriforme

October 2019. Nikon D7200 © Pete Hillman.

Small And Fragile

Milking Bonnet Mycena galopus

Not sure about this one. Might be Milking Bonnet (Mycena galopus), but did not want to snap it to see if it seeped milk or not. It seemed a shame to do so. Quite easy to miss on the woodland leaf carpet because it is so small … the bonnet about the size of a fingernail, yet the stem so tall and slender.

Local wood. October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Spectacular Rustgill

Spectacular Rustgill Gymnopilus junonius

Of x3 photos. Spectacular Rustgill (Gymnopilus junonius), as it says in the title, and you can see why by its  vivid colour.

Spectacular Rustgill Gymnopilus junonius

There was quite a cluster growing out of a rotting tree stump in the local wood.

Spectacular Rustgill Gymnopilus junonius

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Brolly For The Fairies

Parasol Macrolepiota procera

Of x3 images. This is one of the larger mushrooms I spotted today, and I couldn’t really miss it as it had the diameter of a side plate.

Parasol Macrolepiota procera

It is simply called Parasol (Macrolepiota procera), and you can see why. This is one to keep the elves and fairies dry in the rain 😉

Parasol Macrolepiota procera

Local wood. October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Beautiful In Pink

Rosy Bonnet Mycena rosea

I believe this is Rosy Bonnet (Mycena rosea), very closed related to Mycena Pura, and in fact they may well be one and the same species.

I spotted this beautful pair in the local wood this morning as I went on my first mushroom hunt of the season. Muddy knees indeed!

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Like Ornamental Glass

Geranium

This is a hardy Geranium after rain, one of the few remaining flowers left in the garden as autumn deepens. The flower is so delicate and refined with those shimmering raindrops it is like it is made from the finest glass.

This can be quite tricky to photograph. Besides the lighting conditions, it all depends on where you focus as the depth of field can go anywhere. I always use manual mode for full control, and take several photos, picking the one which I think works the best.  I tried to keep it soft on the side edges, ensuring the background was completely blurred. This makes the flower and its details pop more, especially if you can tone down the back lighting, too.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Under A Strip of Bark

Discus Snail Discus rotundatus

By my plant pot full of moss I have a strip of bark leaning against some heather. Occasionally I will lift it to see what is sheltering in the dark and damp place it helps create there. Clinging to the underneath of the bark I found a 5-7mm (around 1/4 inch) Discus Snail (Discus rotundatus). For such a small creature it has such amazing detail and colours.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

That Plant Pot Again

Philodromus

This is but a small plant pot, and I know you may think this odd, but I just grow a clump of moss in it all year round and nothing more. It appears to attract some varied wildlife (especially if you lift it up and look underneath it) and this Philodromus sp. crab spider was one of them. I spotted it yesterday whilst working the garden, and it appeared to be in a bit of a state of confusion, poor thing, as it kept going round and around the top edge of the pot.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Moss Becomes A Jungle

Clubiona sp.

I was photographing another species of spider on a plant pot (a lot seems to happen on this plant pot for some reason?) and this one came along. I think it is a young Clubiona sp. and it was so small it was getting lost amongst the moss leaves.

The darn thing would not keep still hence it is not as sharp as I would like.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Neuroptera

Common Green Lacewing Chrysoperla carnea

This is the Common Green Lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea), which I discovered in my garden the other day. They are good at devouring greenfly, so can be one of the gardener’s best buddies. It belongs to the order mentioned in the title ‘Neuroptera’ – which contains the ‘net-winged insects’ such as lacewings, antlions and mantidflies.

One of the fine ‘lace’ wings on this one are slightly damaged as you can see, but it is still quite a beautiful insect. I especially like the pale green colour and yellow stripe running from head to tail.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Cereal Leaf Beetle Oulema sp.

Cereal Leaf Beetle Oulema sp.

Cereal Leaf Beetle Oulema sp.

Cereal Leaf Beetle Oulema sp.

x3 images. I found this little critter lounging on the edge of a plant pot.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

Rear garden. October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Something Cheesy

House Mouse Mus musculus

Now … where did I put that cheese?

House Mouse Mus musculus

Ah-ha … I have sniffed it and now I spy it!

House Mouse Mus musculus

Yum-yum in my tum …

House Mouse Mus musculus

… but I think I prefer the seed the feathered things drop from above …. squeak!


Here I have tried to capture a few moments in the life of a House Mouse (Mus musculus) … or mice … as I have seen a few of them under my birdfeeder where they have been grabbing the white heart sunflower seeds the finches drop.

They were quite funny to watch. I sat in a garden chair barely a couple of arms lengths away, and every time they appeared from beneath the flora I tried to snap them they ran for cover! They knew I was there, watching them, but I think they were curious about me and it became a bit of a game with them. Eventually they appeared in the open and they did their thing … which was eat … and eat some more …

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Arrival of The Daddy Longlegs

Tipula oleracea

Of x2 images. Yep, it is that time of the year you will find these large flies attracted to the house lights, and before you know it you will have these gangly flying insects bouncing manically off your kitchen or bathroom ceilings and walls as you either try to swat them or catch them. I tend to catch them in a plastic container, let them out the window, and if I am not careful they will fly straight back in again! One of the delights as autumn closes in and the nights draw in.

Tipula oleracea

Tipula oleraceais is probably the commonest cranefly found in Britain, and with its blunted end this is a male.

Front garden. September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

 

A Little Red On Black

Pine Ladybird Exochomus quadripustulatus

This is a new species for me in the garden. It is the Pine Ladybird (Exochomus quadripustulatus). It is quite small between 3 to 4mm long. It has a distinct rim around the base of the wingcases. Although it is mainly found where Pine grows, it also likes Hawthorn which I happen to have in the garden.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

 

Small Black And White

Anoecia corni
Anoecia corni

There was a bunch of these tiny critters hanging around on a wall out the front.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Blending In

Hairy Shieldbug Dolycoris baccarum

I discovered this Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum) on my Water Mint this morning.

Feel free to click the image to enlarge and click again to get even closer …

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Coming To Rest

Comma Polygonia c-album

I love seeing these Comma (Polygonia c-album) butterflies in the garden, and occasionally they briefly settle for a moment or two.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Black & White

Large White Pieris brassicae

It appears it has been quite a good year here for butterflies, which is really good news. This Large White (Pieris brassicae) made a fleeting visit to my garden before fluttering off over the fence to elsewhere.

These ‘Whites’ can be quite a challenge to photograph, especially in bright sunshine. Auto camera setting never seem to work as the whites get blown out loosing the fine lines and detail in the wings, so I always drop exposure on full manual to try and compensate.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Playing Hide & Seek

Drone Fly Eristalis tenax

This Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) was quite comical to observe, because it really was quite a shy fly. It was basking on a leaf near my pond, and as I neared it instead of flying off like they do most of the time it crawled behind the leaf and peered out at me. When I turned my back it was out again on the surface of the leaf! I approached again, and it snuck behind the leaf again, just popping its head out.

Feel free to click the image to enlarge and click again to get even closer …

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Beautiful In Red

Rhopalus subrufus

This true bug is called Rhopalus subrufus, and a new species for me in the garden. It appeared to be attracted to my Water Mint. Looking closer it is quite a hairy species, and one of only four of this genus found in the UK.

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Finding Shelter

Cabbage White

Of 2 images. I was sitting in my living room looking out the window when I caught a glimpse of this butterfly as it searched and settled for some shelter between rain showers.

Cabbage White

© Pete Hillman August 2019.

Not of This World …

Alum Bay

… ah,  but it is … on the third rock from the sun, planet Earth.

Alum Bay

Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight is quite famous for its different coloured sands, and a craft tourist industry has grown up around it since early Victorian times.

Alum Bay

Here are cliffs of sand of varying hues. The sands are coloured due to oxidised iron compounds formed under different conditions, and look great layered in shaped glass ornaments. There are usually 21 shades of sand available.

Alum Bay

Turning your head away from these magnificent cliffs towards the sea and you will see the Needles as featured in the previous post.

Alum Bay

Alum Bay

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Turnstone

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Also called the Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), this was another first for me. There were many of these little birds on the seashore bulldozing the seaweed out of their way with their heads in search of invertebrates hiding underneath it.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Turnstone Arenaria interpres

Feel free to click the images to enlarge and click again to get even closer …


East Cowes, Isle of Wight. September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

 

When The Tide Goes Out

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

When the tide goes out to reveal shallow pools and masses of clumped seaweed it is time for the waders to come and feed.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

This Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) does an odd little dance to agitate the water to stir up small fish and invertebrates on which it feeds.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Little Egret Egretta garzetta

Feel free to click the images to enlarge and click again to get even closer …


East Cowes, Isle of Wight. September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

A Bit of Garden Shade

fuschia

Out of the glare of the sun you can see more details in the most delicate of blossoms. I isolated this fuschia bloom in a shady corner of the garden once the sun had moved around.

© Pete Hillman August 2019.

Pretty In Pink

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

When I first spied these little beauties along the seafront, especially as they appeared to glisten in the freshly fallen rain, I thought oh yes, wow! How lovely!

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

The small brightly pink flowers kind of jump out at you. The plant is called Common Restharrow (Ononis repens).

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

Common Restharrow Ononis repens

Exmouth, Devon. August 2019 © Pete Hillman.