Monday, 11 October 2010

Sunniest day of the year

After early mist lifted, we had a clear blue sky and 22 degrees: we might get 2 days like this a year. So off up to the forestry to see what was going on.

Eristalis Hoverflies are still in evidence, and the males were holding station on the pathway:

Manual focus on those!

This little Braconid wasp was one of many looking over and under Willow leaves. They're probably still looking for the last of the sawfly larvae to parasitise:

Those of you who have been following my travels will know exactly how I feel about Slender St. John's Wort. The specific name 'pulchrum' shows what the people who named this in the 1700's thought of it, too:

This tiny (3 mm) Chrysomelid beetle was posed adjacent to next year's Willow leaf bud:

And finally - just to convince ourselves that we actually are in October - a solitary specimen of the Deceiver, Laccaria laccata:


Gill said...

Lovely shots of those hovering Eristalis - I have wasted many hours trying to get a photo like that ....

The Weaver of Grass said...

What do you think of St John's wort Stuart? I think it is one of the most valuable plants in my garden - I think it has finished flowering for the year, I turn my back and there it is again in full bloom.

That first hover fly picture is amazing too.

Stuart said...

Gill: I got a surprising percentage of good shots....maybe 40%.

At this time of year the males hold station to impress the ladies and then they pair off, mating in flight. The females will now overwinter and lay their eggs in spring.

Weaver: I think Slender St. John's Wort is one of our most beautiful flowers. The specific name pulchrum means 'beautiful', so the early botanists clearly agreed.

Yoke, said...

Lovely post, Stuart.
And like Gill I too spent a lot of time capturing hoovers on camera. I think Hovers are amazing how they can switch flight path, height and sideways.

Don't know your Beetle, but spotted a Chrysolina banksi, ten days ago.