x3 images. Double click to enlarge fully. A close relation to the spiders and harvestmen, this mite is one of the Anystis sp. – known as the whirlygig mites. One of the slightly larger mites I have come across, it moves very rapidly across surfaces, hunting invertebrate prey. Notice how far back the eyes are.
Hello all! Sorry I have been away for so long, and thank you to those who have been enquiring after me! 🙂 A message popped up today that it was my WordPress.com Birthday – 5 years! Where have all those years gone! I thought I would return with a bit of humour. This Small Black… Read More Hey You! Slow Down Will You?
Not Ghostbusters slime … but Mycetozoa – slime moulds, more discovered this time in local woods. This species looks to be the same as in the previous post Trichia botrytis. Like all slime moulds, they creep across a surface very slowly devouring food until they run out, and when they run out they will release… Read More Yup … More Slime Forecast …
This tiny, brightly coloured slime mould is called Trichia botrytis. It thrives on dead wood, and is quite variable in colour. This was found on the underside of loose bark, and autumn is the time of year that slime moulds mainly make their appearance.
Whilst initially looking like ice crystals or coral, it is actually a slime mould – which is not a fungi but belongs to the kingdom Protozoa – single-celled organisms. This colony was found covering a large area of a fallen and decaying tree trunk. Although many slime mold species fruit on wood they do not… Read More Coral Slime Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
This is quite an attractive and colourful little mushroom which grows in large tufts on rotting tree stumps and logs. It is very similar to the Funeral Bell (Galerina marginata) which is deadly poisonous. This was found on a mossy White Willow which had fallen near the river.
Well not quite – it is an Oribatid mite found in soil under a clay flower pot. They are also called Beetle Mites or Moss Mites. The order Oribatida has species which range from 0.2 mm long to 1.4 mm (1/128 in to around 1/16 in) long … and this is somewhere inbetween. These very… Read More A blob of Red Jelly
The 1000th species to be added to this site was only discovered yesterday in my back garden, and it not only introduces this new species but also a new order of insects which I haven’t featured before – the Psocoptera. This order includes the barklice and the booklice, and in some quarters prefer to be… Read More A New Order
Striped Millipede Ommatoiulus sabulosus This is one of Britain’s largest millipedes, and it has to be one of it’s most attractive. Growing up to around 30 mm (1 3/16 in) long, it is very well marked and unmistakable with 2 conspicuous deep orange stripes running the entire length of the body. I discovered it under… Read More Got Its Stripes
I caught this one on my back decking peering in through my patio window before it decided to jump on top of the fence.
Oniscus asellus – This is one of the largest native woodlice to be found in the British Isles. It is fairly flat and shiny, marbled greyish-brown in colour with pale markings. One of the ‘famous 5’ very common British species most likely to be seen.
3 in 1 – not an oil, but what looks like a juvenile Isotomurus sp. of springtail on the left, a juvenile Common Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber) on the right, and an unidentified tiny snail just off centre. All in the space of a about one 3rd of your little pinky nail.
I keep some pieces of tree bark in an area of the garden, along with a few branches, which help to give shelter to animals. Occasionally I peer underneath. I know these slimy critters aren’t to everybodies taste, but they all play their role in keeping nature’s balance, and are little wonders in themselves. The… Read More Under The Bark
Simocephalus vetulus – I really needed a microscope to capture this very peculiar freshwater life form, so apologies in advance as this is not as clear as some of my other images, as I was really trying to attempt the impossile with a camera, and handheld to add. But I wanted to show you something… Read More Microscopic Life
Myrmica ruginodis – This is species of one of the red ants you may find nesting in your garden. This is a winged queen. It nests in the ground, in tufts of grass, under stones and in rotten wood. Colonies are usually polygynous with an average of 15 queens and a thousand workers or more.
Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) – In the wee dark hours if you get up for a cuppa tea, or to pop to the loo, you might see the back end of one of these little critters as it scurries off to escape the sudden glare of light. It is from a primitive group of insects and… Read More Fish In Your House
I have just uploaded the 200th species of moth to A Nature Journey, and when you consider there are around 2,500 species in Great Britain that is but a drop in the ocean. Anyway, here are selection of moths, some you have seen before, and some perhaps you have not. If you wish to visit… Read More 200 Moths
The last day sundown of July was quite something special. From my backyard I cannot see the sun itself set as it slips behind a wooded hill and neighbouring houses. Yet last night the way the lowering sun reflected its dying light off the clouds it was almost like a 360 degree sunset. The sky… Read More Floating On A Dream
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) – It was a morning where these butterflies were showing off their colours with their wings splayed fully open. This is the more brightly coloured female with its rich orange flashes on the wings. Meadow Browns appear to be a penny for a dozen (old saying) at present, and one can… Read More Who Said Meadow Browns Can be Dull And Boring?
Sagittaria sagittifolia – I came across this beautiful semi-aquatic plant on my local canal. It has large, dark green arrow-shaped leaves. Please double-click images for a closer look.
Pieris rapae – This is a female with her two spots per forewing. So delicate and delightful, this is always a welcome visitor to the garden. It was so windy that day, it was a wonder she could flutter at all with her fragile wings. But she is tougher than she looks, and has to… Read More Small White
Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) – This is a small shaggy-haired bumblebee, and probably my most favourite of the bumblebees – if I really had to choose one. I adore its colour combination of bright orange tail and lemon-yellow abdominal and thoracic bands. But they are little devils to photograph, for they are always so brisk… Read More Beautiful Bumble
Common Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber) – Under a loose strip of bark in the back garden I found quite a few of these hiding. Believe it or not in wet weather they can become oversaturated, that’s why some may appear indoors. Intially all woodlice may look the same, but there are quite a number of… Read More Armoured And Amazing
… I lift a rock and shed some light. The rain has been very welcome here, but the trouble is once it starts it doesn’t know when to stop. Between the rain I decided to see what might be hiding under a few rocks in the garden. Here I found this rather snug millipede, which… Read More Nice And Cosy Until …
Peacock (Aglais io) – I know, a Mr. Mister song from the mid 1980s which I remember well, but it sums up the sorry state of this butterfly who stayed for a long, long time in my back garden feeding on this flower.
Blackbird (Turdus merula) – This beautiful young blackbird visited my pond this afternoon as I was watering the garden, and was so bold it stayed a while and allowed me to get quite close. Good job, too, because I only had my macro lens fitted. The last day of May and the last photos of May… Read More A Bold Young Blackbird
It is coming up to 4 years this June that I have been blogging on WordPress. I have done a species tally of the ‘life’ featured on this site, and it is around 874 species, featuring all forms of flora and fauna I have been most fortunate enough to encounter on my life’s journey so… Read More 874 And Counting
Biston betularia – I have seen this one a few tmes over the years, but never the completely black form (carbonaria), which is a favourite in genetic evolutionary studies, harking back to the days of the Industrial Revolution and the high levels of soot that was emittted into the atmosphere at the time. The trees… Read More Peppered Moth
Anania hortulata – This is one of the larger micro-moths, and one most may well be familiar with. They are very much attracted to light. © Peter Hillman ♦ 20th May 2020 ♦ Rear garden, South Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Nostoc commune – Is it a fungus? Is it an algae? When I first came across this strange toffee coloured, jellied mass covering the entire roof of a garage complex, I had no idea what it was. At first I thought it was an algae, especially as most of it appeared to be thriving in… Read More Witches Butter
Peacock (Inachis io) – Probably my favourite of all the butterflies I have seen here, and another fond reminder of my childhood, of long, hot and lazy summer days. Double-click to enlarge image, © Peter Hillman ♦ 16th April 2020 ♦ Local woodland margin, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
A pink supermoon is not really pink. The name is a northern Native American reference to an early-blooming wildflower, ground phlox, and is first seen across North America as spring begins. I was playing hide-and-seek with clouds when trying get the pink supermoon, but I was taken by the silver ‘moon’ lining on the clouds.… Read More Pink Supermoon
© Peter Hillman ♦ 10th April 2020 ♦ Local field, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200
Barney cocoadelicous – Another case of nature coming indoors. This cute cuddly creature must have snuck in the dining room when the patio door was left open. I caught it climbing a chair. No doubt it was searching for chocolate, which is its favourite food, as indicated in the species Latin name. I photographed it… Read More It Snuck In The House
Sounds like the name of a seaside pub, I know. As the sun lowers in the sky a lone gull appears to be preparing for it settled on the sea wall. © Peter Hillman ♦ 21st April 2011 ♦ West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales ♦ Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38
Standing amidst the sand dunes watching the sun slip down the distant horizon is such a beautiful spectacle to behold. Soaking up the changing atmosphere as the colours of the sky and sea alter simultaneously, almost like they are melting into one another, a cooling breeze ruffling through your hair is purely awe-inspiring. Distant gulls… Read More Cosmic Connections
Zygaena lonicerae – An attractively bright day-flying moth, with yes, you guessed it, five red spots on each forewing. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D3200Date taken: 21st June 2014Place: Local field, Staffordshire
Argyresthia pruniella – This tiny micro-moth is around 6mm (1/4in) long, and you might find it congregating around cherry trees on a warm summer evening. They characteristically rest nose-down. Copyright: Peter HillmanCamera used: Nikon D7200Date taken: 27th July 2017Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire
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… Read More Time Flies By