Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Non-stop safari-ing

The Safari has had a hectic start to the week with young Beavers coming to visit and a school group all day today. More Brownies tomorrow evening - can our ears survive the strain all those excited young children make a lorra lorra noise!
Late on Sunday afternoon realising we weren't going to be able to get out we had a last mooch round the garden at Base Camp looking for the Blue Tailed Damselflies to see if we could get any more super close-ups. They weren't playing ball as the sun had gone in and a cool wind had picked up so we had to be content with flowers. Last summer there was hardly any Herb Bennett in the garden, this year there are a few plants. That's one of the joys of having  a wild garden you just don't quite know what's going to come up where year by year.
If there were any hoverflies about they'd love it but we've seen very few so far this summer.
Herb Robert is much more forthcoming and maybe you can have too much of a good thing when it starts invading Wifey's special planting tubs.
We noticed some had little orange specks on them, some times just a few and others had several. They were randomly placed so we deduced they weren't something the plant had produced.
 Then we spotted this tiny fly which may or may not be the culprit of what we suppose are eggs.
Big eggs if that little insect did lay them. Maybe they only lay two as most seemed to be in pairs and several insects have laid their eggs on one flower - isn't nature great there's always something new to see and learn, one question leads to a whole bookful of others.
Last night we were with the youngsters on the beach looking in the rockpools, it was a lovely summer's evening warm with hardly a breath of wind - a perfect evening for exploring on the beach. The recent offshore winds might be great for keeping the sea calm and helping our Dolphin spotting but it does mean there's not a great deal of shells and the like washed up. That didn't stop us finding some good stuff though like this Thornback Ray egg case.
Lots of the Common Prawns were in berry - except this one!
Star find as far as the Beavers were concerned were a couple of medium sized Common Sand Stars.
After we'd got back to Base Camp and had tea we were chatting to our Extreme Photographer on the phone when we notciced the sky start to build up some odd looking clouds. He had similar ones too 200 miles to the south. Once we'd finished chatting we got a couple of snaps with the phone, apparently they are Cirrus fibratus and Twitter friend @MaryJasper2 had similar all the way down in SW Cornwall.
Impressively wispy but were better than this a few minutes earlier
All day today we played host to a local school doing pond dipping and mini-beast hunting. The pond is still a bit slow probably due to the iffy weather in May and early June but they caught a reasonable selection of snails and plenty of 3-spined Sticklebacks, none as bright and energetic as 'Spineless Simon' though. The biggest surprise came in the form of a small dragonfly nymph, we very very seldom see adult dragonflies in the work's garden but there must have been some last year
Of the terrestrial invertebrates this bright, long and skinny Centipede was our favourite but the kids' favourite was probably the huge spider they found and many were brave enough to gently hold it - well done them!
Talk of our Extreme Photographer he's sent a few pics from his garden out in the wilds in the last week or so
Drinker moth caterpillar
Great Diving Beetle larva - you wouldn't want to mess with those fangs!
Where to next? More Patch 2 dolphin hoping - there was a Humpback Whale not so far away just out of sight over the horizon last week!!!!!!! and there be more netting shenanigans with the kids too.
In the meantime let us know who's sucking the juice out of who in your outback.

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