In Autumn Colours

Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina) showing its autumn colours. It will go darker, turning to a deep bronze as winter takes hold and then will hibernate during the coldest period. In spring it will gradually turn back to full green.

One For Halloween

Rabbit Hutch Spider (Steatoda bipunctata) – The first image has a kind of creepy smiley doll face. Commonly found near or in human habitation such as outbuildings or sheds, and probably rabbit hutches.

Variegated Centipede

Lithobius (Lithobius) variegatus – This is a fairly large centipede growing up to 30 mm (1 1/4 in) long. It hides during the day under bark, stones, rotting logs or decaying vegetation, emerging at night to hunt other invertebrates by injecting them with venom. Found mainly in rural areas in woodland and moorland.

999 Species

I have now recorded 999 species on this website, from plants to animals, fungi and even a cyanobacterium. I have stopped short of making this post ‘1000’ as the 999th species convinced me to use it as a marker milestone. Not surprising it happens to be an invertebrate, an arthropod, and an insect at that.… Read More 999 Species

Becoming

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I found this one hiding under a rock near the garden pond. It was smaller than my little fingernail. As you can see it still has its tail, but its limbs are developing, and it can hop a short distance, although a little clumsily. Early days yet.

Snake Drama

Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica) – Strolling along the canal, the light ever changing as slate grey clouds block the sun, threatening rain again, and seeing me with my camera, a friendly fisherman calls out, “There’s a frog being eaten by a snake over there!” I pass under a nearby canal bridge built during the Industrial… Read More Snake Drama

Hunting & Hunted

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – Life in the garden pond can be quite a challenge. As featured in a previous post, I watched damselflies hunting flies, snatching them out of the air. Now, as newly emerging damselfies are leaving the water where they have been as larvae for the past year or so, I have… Read More Hunting & Hunted

Growing Bigger

Common Frog (Rana temporaria) – I can’t believe what a frenzy of activity is going on in the garden pond at the moment. It is teeming with tadpoles and all of them are scraping algae from the rocks, so much so some of them are virtually picked clean. They have grown so much bigger, too.… Read More Growing Bigger

In Their World

Wolf Spider (Pardosa sp.) – This is a male sunning on a fallen branch on the riverbank. A peek into their world. Double-click to enlarge images. © Peter Hillman ♦ 10th April 2020 ♦ Local riverbank, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Small Tortoiseshell

Aglais urticae – There are a few of these butterflies around at the moment but they are always on the move. I got lucky with this one. One of my favourite butterflies. Double-click on image to enlarge. © Peter Hillman ♦ 14th April 2020 ♦ Local field, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Calm

It’s an odd thing to say, perhaps, but I feel a stillness and a calm with this simple image of a snail nestled in the fold of a nettle leaf. Maybe it is because there is so much going on in the world right now, so much has happened and is still happening, peoples minds… Read More Calm

Growing Up

White-lipped Snail (Cepaea hortensis) juvenile – A new generation of snails are appearing in the garden, ready to munch their way through it. This little one has such a delicate and elegant looking shell. Double-click to enlarge image. © Peter Hillman ♦ 12th April 2020 ♦ Rear garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Speckled Wood

Pararge aegeria – A few of these around at the moment in the woods. Always a joy to see. The delightfully named Speckled Wood is a butterfly very well adapted to dappled woodland glades, and it can tolerate shade better than most other butterflies. © Peter Hillman ♦ 11th April 2020 ♦ Local wood, Staffordshire… Read More Speckled Wood

Morning Yoga

Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus) – This one like to chill in the morning sun. Double-click image for a closer look. © Peter Hillman ♦ 24th March 2020 ♦ Back garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200

Mottled Beauty

Alcis repandata – This was the one that nearly got away, but thankfully landed and rested on the side of the garden shed at the time. Quite an attractive moth beauty this, which can be extremely variable. A regular visitor to light sources. © Peter Hillman ♦14th June 2017 ♦ Back garden, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon… Read More Mottled Beauty