September CMMC Dark Greens

Cee Neuner’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC) this week is for dark green colours. Those of you who follow me on Twitter may already have seen this photo. It was posted for the #WildWebWednesday hashtag, where people, who are interested in wildflowers post photos of creatures and organisms which are dependent on them.

Leaves of a geranium (cranesbill) plant and a dark green beetle-like creature
Nymph of green shieldbug seen on 31 August in our garden

From one of the botanists on Twitter (Moira O’Donnell) I learned that this was not an adult shield bug, but a nymph of the green shield bug. Rather handsome, don’t you think?

There is an adult shield bug here and more dark green here.

Don’t forget to visit Cee’s blog for her photos and links to those of other participants.


Garden wildlife

This year the wasps returned to the bird box, which hubby had cleaned out after last year’s nest had been deserted. There was some activity until a hot spell, which the wasps did not survive. The wasps seemed to attempt to regulate the temperature inside the box. A few of them stood near the entrance flapping their wings.

I have done more gardening this year than in previous years, digging out some invasive plants to give other species a better chance. The invasive plants will spread again from the small clumps I have left. While I was working in a shady part of the garden some movement attracted my attention. It was a large, healthy-looking frog, which disappeared into the undergrowth. There isn’t a pond in our garden, but there must have been enough moisture for this amphibian even at the end of a dry spell.

Another amphibian, which was hiding under a boot-cleaning device propped against the edge of the patio, was a toad. It stayed nearby long enough for me to fetch my camera.

Dark brown toad on concrete capping stone at edge of patio

We saw a bee with a red tail digging a hole in the sloping lawn. It stayed inside, making photography difficult. Afterwards the hole had been filled in.  If we hadn’t seen the bee, we might not have noticed the fine soil on the surface. Can we expect any bees to emerge?

Soil in grass. a bee is just visible at the top right of the soil
The bee digging (above the fine soil on the top right)

The bees’ nest we had in the front garden last year has not been used again.

We have seen a few caterpillars. There were one or two green ones on the aquilegia. Buff-tip moth caterpillars (identified by Annabel Sherwood on Twitter) were new to us. They were all spotted on the ground; on two occasions on a path and a smaller one on the earth.

Caterpillar ID help, please. @BC_Cumbria

— Susan Sanderson (@suesconsideredt) August 28, 2021

Various pollinators have included bees, hover flies and a few butterflies, especially white ones. A handsome bug was identified by Moira O’Donnell as a green shieldbug nymph – what would I do without Twitter?

A shield bug on the invasive pink geraniums (loved by bees and other pollinators) in our garden #WildWebsWednesday

— Susan Sanderson (@suesconsideredt) September 1, 2021

Adult shieldbug seen in May

Candy-stripe spiders have made their nests inside the lid of our brown garden-waste bin. Thanks to Dolly for the identification. They were there at the beginning of August and are still there a month later. The egg sacs are possibly a bit bigger.

— Susan Sanderson (@suesconsideredt) August 4, 2021

Do click on the links to see the pictures on Twitter.

Steam train Braunton

Earlier this month a steam train was scheduled to take an excursion from Saphos trains along the Cumbria Coastal Railway. The best local place for photography is probably the station as all trains stop there if only briefly. However it can be very busy and everyone wants a good spot, so I decided to snap it on its way into the station.

As I arrived at my vantage point with a view of a fairly long stretch of the line, I disturbed a rabbit and a heron. Both creatures were far quicker than the time taken to switch on my camera and point it in the right direction!

The track slopes down to the station so that trains can coast along at a reasonable speed. No puffs of smoke as there are beyond the station when it sets off again. The diesel engine in case of need had the name Roger Hosking MA, although it is not legible on my photos.

Train in top third of picture, field in foreground, wooded hills beyond
Here it comes!
Front of Braunton
The tender of Braunton 34046
The end of the long train with Deisel loco, Roger Hosking MA