Lexigame Community

General Category => Whatever => Topic started by: pat on November 10, 2008, 05:30:49 AM



Title: Nature pics
Post by: pat on November 10, 2008, 05:30:49 AM
I know there's already a thread for photos but I thought it might be nice to have one for nature pics. Autumn has been glorious this year and the acers stunning. I took this pic today - the tree is truly spectacular.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: greenone on November 10, 2008, 05:57:13 AM
That is beautiful Pat and I think it is a good idea for a new topic.  the other one is for fun things.  Jacarandas are in full bloom in my neck of the woods - will have to find a spectacular one and take a photo.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on November 10, 2008, 06:07:38 AM
love the idea - will search for a photo that will fit on here (sob! - they keep rejecting my attempts).


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Binkie on November 10, 2008, 07:07:46 AM

Excellent idea, Pat. Have to see what I can do!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: biggerbirdbrain on November 10, 2008, 10:25:12 AM
It may be hard as my piccies are 8 megapixels ... not anything worth it yet, but will also try. And yes, that is a spectacular tree! Thanks for sharing.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on November 10, 2008, 06:57:39 PM
Is anyone lucky enough to live where Royal Poincianas grow? I once saw one in full bloom in Tenerife and it stopped me in my tracks.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on November 11, 2008, 01:07:26 AM
Have seen them on my travels - they're really spectacular!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on November 11, 2008, 04:48:41 AM
Pat, that is an absolutely stunning picture.
Thank you for posting it.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on November 11, 2008, 04:09:46 PM
Beautiful, Pat!  The Jacarandas are just starting here, but the Syringas are lovely.  I really wish I had a camera and could send pics because the Bougainvillea in my garden is stunning.  It covers a whole wall and is just a huge mass of pinky-red blooms.  Maybe when Tim comes out next month, he will have a camera and I'll have a go.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on November 11, 2008, 08:41:14 PM
yes Pat- great photo and great idea.
Sydney too, is awash with the purple Jacaranda blossoms, and this contasts with the vibrant red of the Illawarra flame trees and the golden yellow of the Silky Oaks - a type of grevillea. When you get up on the high ground and cast around the view is spectacular in some areas. When you look at all the purple Jacarandas you get the same hovering halo effect that I got when I saw the blue bells in England -  the colour is like a puffy cloud. Maybe that doesnt make much sense - sorry
It is a beautiful time of the year here - we have had some substantial rains over the winter and it is becoming warm and sultry and the garden is responding with verdant growth. In Sydney there is always something in flower -  in the depths of winter or the hottest summer's day.
Life is a bloody marvel!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on November 11, 2008, 09:19:50 PM
It is indeed, smaug, and vistas such as those you describe confirm that the best things in life are free.

I know exactly what you mean by a puffy cloud - there are some woods quite close to where I live that are known locally as bluebell woods. When the ground is an unbroken carpet of blue it's a sight to behold. Bluebells smell nice too.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on November 12, 2008, 01:48:47 AM
Oh, yes, Pat - I saw a bluebell woods near Eastbourne in May - what a treat!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on November 12, 2008, 07:14:06 AM
That's what I remember of bluebells and England. Maybe it was the same place.
I have planted them in Sydney but they are no comparison. Because we have hot Spring weather they only last a few days.
cheers


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on November 12, 2008, 06:57:31 PM
I remember when I was living in UK, spring arrived and suddenly the whole rather boring garden was carpeted in daffodils and grape hyacinths.  So beautiful!  I've tried growing bulbs here, but, like you guys Smaug, it's too hot over winter and spring.  This year I just haven't the money to spare on buying perennials so I've tried seeds.  I've never had much luck before, but this year I've been very caring and they look as if they will be fine.  My baby spinach is galloping ahead and I cut some last Saturday and the basil is also doing wonderfully well.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on December 27, 2008, 10:15:53 PM
Seems as if no one has any nice photos to post here  :(.

Having endured the excess that is Christmas, on new year's day I'm off to Antarctica for three weeks. Hopefully I should get some good photos so I'll post a couple on here when I get back. In the meantime, a happy new year to you all!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: biggerbirdbrain on December 27, 2008, 10:23:10 PM
I'm glad you survived the holiday, and going to Antarctica might be just the right cure! Looking forward very much to seeing those piccies when you return. Be safe -- maybe you can bring home a pet penguin, too!  ;)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on December 28, 2008, 12:14:15 AM
I hope you are going to wear a vest Pat? It'll be a bit nippy up there!!

Can't wait for the photos...
Enjoy.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on December 28, 2008, 01:23:34 AM
Vest, techno? I'll have half a suitcase full of long johns and woolly vests! It's actually summer down there, of course, so the weather won't be of the sort that emperor penguins have to endure when they hatch their eggs, but it could still be pretty damn cold, even though there will be almost 24 hours' daylight.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on December 28, 2008, 02:18:12 PM
Looking forward to seeing those pictures penguins and maybe some orcas?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on December 28, 2008, 07:31:23 PM
Sorry Pat
I often think when I am driving past something - 'oh, I'd like to post that on Pats thread!' Alas! I cant seem to get the photos to the right size, and before that even I have to have my camera handy!
Have a great time in Antarctica - Wow!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on December 29, 2008, 01:19:11 PM
I tried to add a photo or two also, but I obviously am too inept at downsizing to the necessary size.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 01, 2009, 12:56:15 AM
Just a few pics from Antarctica (assuming they upload OK!)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 01, 2009, 12:58:38 AM
By the way, I've found an easy way to get the photos small enough to be accepted. Simply email the original photo to yourself and then save the attachment. It reduces the size from a few meg to a few k.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on February 01, 2009, 01:34:56 AM
Pat, the photos are stunning.

Roy would have loved the penguin [he spent a long time down there sailing around, and penguins were his favourite] and i love the whale pic....

More please.

What a fantastic time you must have had.

Good tip. by the way. I may try that...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on February 01, 2009, 03:58:37 AM
Pat, love half the photos ... the other half I could well do without!!  Guess which two?!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 01, 2009, 07:22:34 AM
Love the pictures - all of them, beaks, fins, flukes and all.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 01, 2009, 08:40:40 AM
Thanks for the pictures Pat  - I have been waiting for them and they are awesome.

And thanks for the tip because I can hopefully now post some pictures on your great idea for a continuing thread.

Welcome home!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: greenone on February 01, 2009, 10:27:33 AM
More photos please Pat - they're great.  A lady I work with went to the Antarctic last christmas and treated us to a lunch time talk with slide show.  With the images projected on to a big screen, I almost felt like I was there.

A few posted each day would be good  :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 02, 2009, 02:23:43 AM
Sorry about the b*** pics Linda! You could always imagine penguins as the way they were first described - fish with feathers!

Although I took 3500 pics (aren't digital cameras wonderful?) they're mostly of penguins, albatrosses, seals and icebergs so you'll soon get fed up of them. Here are a few more though. I think the one of the Adelie penguin's head is my favourite - he's got that "Will you clear off with that camera" look about him, and purely by accident I managed to catch a snowflake so you can just see its six sides.

Many of the icerbergs I saw showed glorious shades of blue - something to do with the ice being so compressed that the air is squeezed out. Whatever the reason, they were some of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Apparently the streaks of green in the other iceberg are due to frozen seawater...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 02, 2009, 05:39:04 AM
I know what you mean about the icebergs, Pat.  When I saw them in Alaska a couple of years ago, I was amazed at how beautiful they were.  I took at least a hundred pictures.  None of my friends wanted to look at that many, so I just put a few in my slide show, but I still go back to look at the complete set on my computer.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 02, 2009, 06:55:40 AM
Well I'd love to see some of them, birdy. Try the 'email to yourself' trick and see if it works for you. I use hotmail.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 02, 2009, 12:13:57 PM
For some reason that doesn't work - all the things I tried to email to myself or others disappeared, I thought, into cyberspace, until the day I was poking around in mystery files and found them all!  One of these days, I'll get myself over to photobucket or something else like that so everyone can see them.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 02, 2009, 06:59:35 PM
Do you use hotmail, birdy? All you need to do is attach the photo to the email as a photo rather than a file. When I do this and open the email, the names of the attachments are shown and also the photos are displayed in the body of the email.

To save them I right click on the actual photo, rather than the jpg name, and select Save Picture As. You can then choose where to save it on your PC. The size will have already been reduced in order to attach it to the email.

I hope some of you can manage to reduce your photos to an appropriate size either by this means or another as I'd love to see some of yours.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on February 02, 2009, 08:37:38 PM
Awesome Pat...
The last iceberg looks like marble....amazing.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on March 06, 2009, 05:45:16 PM
Gosh Pat, those are beautiful pics.  Thanks.  (I'm still finding posts that I've missed.  Very serendipitous!----now there's a juicy word!  Hope the spelling is correct?)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on April 29, 2009, 10:07:06 AM
Sorry I havent got a picture but we have these gorgeous trees in bloom at the moment we call 'Cape Chestnut". Is this a South African Tree Toni?
They are a lovely round shape and covered in blooms from creams to mauves and lilac


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on April 29, 2009, 09:26:16 PM
No, I don't think so Smaug.  I've never heard of them.  The chestnuts we get are the eating kind and are aliens.



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on April 29, 2009, 11:33:54 PM
I googled it and found a nice site - with pictures.  Apparently it is an African tree - maybe it has a different name in your area, Toni - a frequent problem with common names!

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/calodendcape.htm


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on April 30, 2009, 09:51:27 AM
Thats it Birdy - thankyou for going to the trouble to find it
They are quite spectacular around here - not common but really stand out
A lovely thing
Do you know it now Toni?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on April 30, 2009, 05:21:26 PM
Oh yes! Thanks Birdy.  I know it by the Afrikaans name and, amazingly, recognise the Latin name.  We don't often see them here in Cape Town.  In the piece that Birdy found it said they are common from Swellendam eastwards.  Swellendam is a dear little town about 2 1/2 hours drive away.  As soon as one gets a bit away from Cape Town (like 1/2 hour's drive) it's considerably warmer as there is far less wind.  Being on a narrow peninsula we are very seldom without wind.  From one of the roads over the mountain near me one can actually see the Atlantic on one side and the Indian on the other.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on May 01, 2009, 06:00:06 PM
Toni
what a lovely picture you paint!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on May 03, 2009, 09:43:26 PM
Ah, thank you kind sir! :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: biggerbirdbrain on May 04, 2009, 06:56:08 AM
Makes me want to pick up and go there -- now!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on May 05, 2009, 05:23:50 PM
Oh Threeb, I wish you could!  There's always a bed for you here.  How you been girl?  I've misses you.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Alan W on May 08, 2009, 03:38:53 PM
I took these pictures last night at the front of my house. The long-tailed visitor is a ring-tailed possum. Probably the reason I could get so close without it scampering off is that it was engaged in a face-off with next-door's cat (sitting on a wall at the far left of the second picture).

After I took these pictures, I had to go inside to check something on the stove, and when I came back both animals were gone, so I don't know how things ended up. I think cats sometimes attack baby possums, but this one was pretty big and I imagine it could hold its own.

Possums are fairly common in the Australian suburbs, even in inner areas.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 08, 2009, 05:47:59 PM
At last someone has posted a pic on here! And what a cute one it is too. Thanks, Alan. Are possums happily received or unwanted visitors over there in the Antipodes? The only wild animals (apart from birds) that I get in my garden are hedgehogs and the occasional woodmouse. Some people are lucky enough to be visited by foxes or badgers but you need to live nearer the countryside for those, especially badgers.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Alan W on May 08, 2009, 09:38:33 PM
Possums are not universally welcomed, Pat. They can do a lot of damage to a garden, and if they set up home in the ceiling they are smelly and noisy apparently. Some of the lemons on our tree get nibbled skin, which is probably the possums' work, but I don't begrudge them a little zest in their lives!

A lot of the trees in parks here have metal bands around the trunks to stop possums climbing them. It seems to be mainly done on non-native trees, such as elms - maybe eucalypts are tough enough to withstand possum damage.

I've only seen them around the house a few times. As they're nocturnal, you never see them in the daytime, like you can squirrels in other countries, so it's rare to get such a clear view of one.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 08, 2009, 10:13:00 PM
Up close and personal then....

Nice pictures. The cat looks a bit creepy eyed- perhaps that's why the possum looks so scared!!
We have nothing as exotic in our gardens...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 09, 2009, 05:23:16 AM
Some of the lemons on our tree get nibbled skin, which is probably the possums' work, but I don't begrudge them a little zest in their lives!


Groan. Good for you, Alan. I think a bit of damage is worth putting up with to have nature on your doorstep.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 09, 2009, 02:57:04 PM
No matter how pesky, it's nice to have a bit of wildlife around - other than the neighbors' nearly grown children, that is.  Your possums are cuter than our opossums - not to be politically incorrect in implying that beauty is a valid criterion for comparing mammalian species - or even marsupial species.

I would have posted some photos from my visit to the Botanic Garden today, but alas, too large to post.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on May 09, 2009, 06:18:22 PM
Wow, Alan, how lovely to have a visitor like that.  In the city here where I am we only get guinea fowl and hadeda ibises waking one at the crack of dawn and grey squirrels.  I love them although I know they are considered a pest (rats with good PRO).  The suburbs slightly closer to the mountain have a lot of trouble with baboons which can be very dangerous.  Unfortunately stupid people go on feeding them and they associate people with food.  A friend of mine was cooking in her kitchen when a large baboon walked in, helped himself to food from the table and left.  She said she stood there. rooted to the ground, which was probably the best thing to do, and her dog did the same!

I have also seen a porcupine wandering across the road not far from where I live.  I was surprised at how big it was.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 09, 2009, 10:17:18 PM
I had a scary experience with baboons in Uganda, Toni. I'd decided not to go on that day's group trek and instead went for a walk by myself along a rather traffic-free road. I saw a little face peering at me from a tree and was enchanted to see that it was baby baboon. Then I saw that mum was close by, which didn't bother me, but when I noticed that there was a whole troop of them, about 30 or so, my heart rate went up a bit! They were behind me so I carried on walking, only to have them all follow me. I went round a bend in the road, which put me temporarily out of their sight, and put a spurt on to get a bit more distance between us. No such luck - they kept up. When I stopped, they stopped. When I moved on, they came with me.

Eventually I knew I had to go back the way I'd come from. I turned round and the whole troop was in the road, doing whatever it is that baboons do - one pair was even having sex! Muttering to myself, "Show no fear, Pat, show no fear, Pat," I started walking slowly but confidently towards them. And guess what? They were more afraid of me than I was of them and when I got too close for their comfort they all scattered into the trees and looked down at me as I went past.

A memorable experience!



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 09, 2009, 11:00:04 PM
That IS scary, knowing how aggressive they can be, Pat.  I like animals, but I try to avoid close encounters of the dangerous kind.  B__ds luckily are mostly small enough to be fought off if they get difficult.

We have idiots who feed dangerous animals too, Toni - like alligators in Florida, or bears - though quite often that's not intentional - bears have learned to eat from our b__dfeeders.

But speaking of close encounters of the animal kind, did anyone see the short movie (not sure it was released in theaters) about Christian the Lion?  A lot of people have seen it on YouTube - so many, and so many times forwarded around, that a short movie was made showing the background of the YouTube clip.  It showed on Animal Planet last night.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 09, 2009, 11:01:49 PM
You are the epitome of tact, b***y!  I promise I will not swoon if I see the word written out in full but it is so sweet that you are so very thoughtful!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 11, 2009, 02:52:41 AM
Birdy, i saw the documentary..it was very good. Sad though, to think that animals of that calibre are sold in department store...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 11, 2009, 11:44:48 AM
I don't think they're sold in department stores any more, T.  That was back in the 60s, before the Endangered Species Act was passed here which would have limited sales like that.  I would assume that the UK had its own version of the act.

Though I suppose, technically speaking, lions aren't particularly endangered.  They breed very well in captivity - I remember our little local zoo (later called one of the nation's 10 worst until it was closed and completely renovated after it was taken over by the Wildlife Conservation Society [Bronx Zoo]) had two lions which produced multiple cubs every year.  Well, those poor lions had nothing better to do in the poor conditions in which they were kept.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on May 14, 2009, 06:38:17 PM
Pat, that must have been more than scary!  Lucky you weren't munching a sandwich or something or the outcome could have been very different!

I haven't seen Christian the lion, so I suppose I shouldn't really comment, but one of the things that really gets me going is wealthy people who come out here and pay a lot of money to shoot a lion.  While I can just about accept that there needs to be some culling, I cannot accept that very often it is a "canned" lion, usually an old chap from a circus or zoo, who is put in the bush with a circle of beaters to drive him to a suitable spot for the kill.  It's the kind of thing that almost makes me believe in hell!  Every now and then when another case comes to light, there is an outcry, but than everything settles down again and it just goes on.  As do so many terrible cruelties, like dog fighting.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on May 14, 2009, 10:36:04 PM
The story of Christian has taken off here in oz - the two young men who bought him and took him back to Africa were Australian. It all involved a lot of people including the actress from 'Born Free', Virginia Mc Kenna and George Adamson and makes a great story - Christian was 3rd generation captive bred so it is amazing that he rehabilitated. But the best bit is that he recognised the boys when they went back to Africa and it is this bit on YouTube that has so moved many people - look it it up.
The boys are men now of course and the whole thing changed their lives for the good.

We get stacks of possums here - the one in the picture is a ring tail possum that makes a nest of twigs called a 'dray' and the other type we commonly get is a brush tail possum - its the one that likes to live in the roof and they pee and smell and make a ruckus at night (being nocturnal as Alan said)The ring tails lke to travel along the electricity wires from place to place . We are very fortunate to have a lot of wildlife around Sydney - there are plenty of bats and large lizards (called Blue Tongues) and in the forested areas that dot Sydney there are even echidnas and other smaller possums and bandicoots. Plenty of birds of course.



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 15, 2009, 12:29:44 AM
I totally and utterly despise people who slaughter animals for their own sick enjoyment, usually in the name of so-called 'sport'. My understanding of sport is where one person or team agrees to compete against an equally talented/armed or whatever person or team. How do defenceless animals feature in that? The people you describe, Toni, are contemptible.

One of the reasons I hate our royal family is that they're all very keen on killing for pleasure. And of course because people like that support such obscenities, all of their sycophantic forelock-tuggers follow suit. If only one of them had ever had the guts to stand up and denounce such activities, fox-hunting might have been banned a lot sooner than it was. Of course, even though it's now illegal, that doesn't stop people from doing it - they are, after all, too important to be burdened by having to obey the law of the land.

As you can see, it's a topic that really makes my blood boil!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 15, 2009, 01:38:46 AM
I couldn't agree more, Pat!  Makes my blood boil, too!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 15, 2009, 02:55:29 AM
You need to book your spot at speakers corner next sunday morning Pat...
Don't forget your soapbox...

I'm sure you would gather a huge audience who would whole-heartedly agree with you...me for one, Linda for 2....

My brother gives a good arguement as to why it should not have been banned....but i don't give a monkey's...i think it's appalling...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on May 15, 2009, 07:47:30 AM
 
Its not just the killing of the animals, but the whole idea that someone has enough time and money to waste on an activity which adds nothing to the good of the world, only takes away something. I bet if the people who pay a lot of money to kill a lion or to hunt fox were asked to help a needy human- or animal for that matter-with the money they would have spent, they would scoff at  the thought.

No doubt some of these hunters give in other ways- I dont believe people are completely evil.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 15, 2009, 12:40:43 PM
I'm never going to go out and shoot an animal myself - I'm much too soft for that - but I do realize that hunting is a necessity, since we don't have the predators (including Native Americans) to do the culling.  Our deer population has grown so much that it's much higher than when Europeans came to the New World.  We also provide optimum conditions - farms with field edges, not to mention suburbs with all those lovely bushes we plant to feed the deer.  So - increase and multiply!  The deer now have decimated the native plant life, and are so crowded that starvation and disease can be a real problem.

But I would much rather have professional hunters do the killing than the amateurs who don't know what they are doing - easier on the deer, as well as neighboring livestock.

Smaug, you're right about hunters giving in other ways.  Hunters provide a lot of the money for wildlife refuges, because they are more aware than most people of animal/gamebird need for habitat.  Too many people see that land and think of the money they can make from development.

As for fox hunting, "the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible," as Oscar Wilde put it.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 15, 2009, 08:57:59 PM
It's a topic that raises heated argument on both sides.
Hunters provide a lot of the money for wildlife refuges, because they are more aware than most people of animal/gamebird need for habitat.  Too many people see that land and think of the money they can make from development.


You're right about developers, birdy, but you seem to be implying that hunters aren't too bad a bunch since they cough up the money needed. They may well want to keep the developers off the land and give the wildlife a habitat to live in, but that's only so they can continue with their sick pursuits. If they really gave a toss about the animals they wouldn't gleefully slaughter them. Personally I'd rather see a species become extinct than live on just to provide target practice for the useless rich.

P.S. Gamebird??? >:( Surprised to hear you call them that, gamebirdy!



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 15, 2009, 10:30:44 PM
As much as i abhor fox etc...i still believe we are still a far more humane country than lots of others...you only have to watch the TV or read a newspaper to read the articles of bear-baiting, cock fights, the eating habits of some Asian countries, seal clubbing, whale hunting, the dolphin slaughters..etc..

Orangutan Diaries has been on here...the way they are treated is outrageous...

As a nation of animal lovers, i don't think we do too badly generally.

Our native red squirrel is dying out because of the imported grey version, which are cute, but vermin all the same...so what is the answer?

A contoversial subject that's for sure....


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 16, 2009, 01:16:20 PM
It's a topic that raises heated argument on both sides.
Hunters provide a lot of the money for wildlife refuges, because they are more aware than most people of animal/gamebird need for habitat.  Too many people see that land and think of the money they can make from development.


You're right about developers, birdy, but you seem to be implying that hunters aren't too bad a bunch since they cough up the money needed. They may well want to keep the developers off the land and give the wildlife a habitat to live in, but that's only so they can continue with their sick pursuits. If they really gave a toss about the animals they wouldn't gleefully slaughter them. Personally I'd rather see a species become extinct than live on just to provide target practice for the useless rich.

P.S. Gamebird??? >:( Surprised to hear you call them that, gamebirdy!



Hi - I just used the term gamebirds to distinguish them from the passerines - I suppose I could have called them wild chickens and ducks.  My point was not that I like hunting, but that hunters often care more about the survival of wildlife than people who don't hunt.  And I'm not sure about where you are, Pat, but in this country, a lot of the hunters are far from rich - many people with a family tradition of hunting have been doing it as a way of obtaining food, and wouldn't think of hunting an inedible animal, let alone one who was driven to them by beaters.  But no one in my family was ever a hunter, so I can't speak from personal experience.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: biggerbirdbrain on May 17, 2009, 03:01:20 AM
Hey, birdy! I bet if you dig far back enough in your genealogy, SOMEBODY back there HAD to be a hunter of some sort, or you might have never arrived lo these many centuries later!  :angel:


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 17, 2009, 04:38:39 AM
Hey folks, Threeb's back!  ;D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: biggerbirdbrain on May 18, 2009, 02:48:54 AM
Only momentarily ...  :'(


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 18, 2009, 03:25:02 AM
Hey, birdy! I bet if you dig far back enough in your genealogy, SOMEBODY back there HAD to be a hunter of some sort, or you might have never arrived lo these many centuries later!  :angel:

Probably must have been - though hunter-gathering probably means we were poking around looking for grubs.  As far back as we've traced, we were town and city folk.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 18, 2009, 05:29:32 AM
Birdy is a very game bird i have to say....


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 18, 2009, 09:04:57 AM
Thanks, T - better than being a gamey bird!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 19, 2009, 04:37:54 AM
..or a bird on the game!!!!!  :-\


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on May 19, 2009, 04:33:47 PM
Well, a bird on the game may have a lot more fun than a game bird?  ;D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 19, 2009, 10:30:30 PM
And probably a great deal more fun than a gamey bird, though there's no accounting for tastes.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 19, 2009, 11:05:07 PM
Vomits copiously...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 20, 2009, 02:34:03 AM
I will ignore the comment above and continue with the stupid comments...

Now what was it...oh! yes...
Bad taste is better than no taste at all.... :-\


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 20, 2009, 06:03:11 PM
Pat, if T's earlier comment made you vomit you should have been around in the 'good old days'!   Vomit inducing comments flew thick and fast and usually from T (and me ... just very occasionally when goaded!)  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 20, 2009, 08:30:54 PM
I'm sorry I missed them then, Linda. From what you say, T is a past master!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 20, 2009, 08:51:13 PM
She has her moments!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 20, 2009, 11:18:31 PM
Aw...thanks mate.....

[I think i have said that before somewhere..... :-\]


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 20, 2009, 11:19:07 PM
I was not being complimentary!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 20, 2009, 11:25:29 PM
LINDA- Do not....NOT....read the rest of this post...






I didn't know that rooks buried food then go back and look for it later...

I only found out that interesting birdy fact this last week by watching them in the back garden of my workshop/house....
Fascinating....i wish my memory was  as good...i can't find food in my cupboards....


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 20, 2009, 11:26:39 PM
How interesting!  :-Z

You knew I'd have to read it, didn't you?!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 20, 2009, 11:27:03 PM
You were warned....


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anonsi on May 22, 2009, 12:32:14 AM
Ok, so it is fully spring here, and I've been thinking about the first signs of spring that I love. It's always exciting to see the fruit trees blossoming and the first blades of grass turning green.  I love to hear the song birds and especially to see the first robin!  And when the daffodils and tulips burst open and all over flowers start popping out of the ground and showing their colors.  Of course the best part is a little later in spring when all the baby animals are born.

And then I realized that the first signs of spring aren't the same for everyone. So come on, share your experiences!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 22, 2009, 12:49:27 AM
Spring has sprung over here, anonsi.  I love to hear the b***s tweeting again (really .... just so long as they keep their distance) and to see the hosts of daffodils we have planted in every available piece of land up here and to see my apple tree come into blossom.  Love the fact that I can now go out wearing sandals and bare feet, love the fact that summer is on its way and that Wimbledon can't be too far off!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 22, 2009, 04:36:05 AM
All of the above, and that the trees are busting out all over [that sounds like it would be a good line for a song....!!!] and are all gorgeous and green again...
People are smiling more too....


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: TRex on May 22, 2009, 04:50:50 AM
... trees are busting out all over [that sounds like it would be a good line for a song....!!!]
But it isn't June!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-790dGx-o (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-790dGx-o)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on May 22, 2009, 05:13:13 AM
We're very advanced in this part of the world!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 22, 2009, 10:05:36 PM
...and that's why we're busting out all over!!!

And who is this June????


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 23, 2009, 09:52:33 PM
I don't know who she is, but I bet she's about 16. They're the ones who seem to be busting out all over these days!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 24, 2009, 03:22:14 AM
So very true, sadly!!!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Toni on May 24, 2009, 08:16:00 PM
I envy you all with spring, it's my favourite season.  We're well into autumn now and it's starting to get chilly.

Our spring isn't as spectacular as the Northern Hemisphere's spring, but it starts very early.  By the end of July, when my birthday comes, the almond trees are always in bloom and the oaks are popping leaves out.  The birds stay much the same, my garden always has robin's and thrushes hunting scraps.  I just love the feeling of hope and new beginnings that spring always brings.  Enjoy every minute Northies!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: TRex on May 25, 2009, 02:23:49 AM
I envy you all with spring, it's my favourite season.  We're well into autumn now and it's starting to get chilly.
Spring is also my favourite season, but autumn is next. Too bad I can't just jump from spring to autumn and skip summer.

Anyone know a place where the temperature is mostly -5℃ — 20℃ (like 80% of the time) and almost always -15℃ — 25℃ (like 99% of the time) and never over 30℃ (the cloudier the better)?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 25, 2009, 03:51:23 AM
I think you're describing a typical English summer's day there, TRex!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on May 27, 2009, 11:40:55 PM
After a fantastic weekend of the most glorious weather...it's peeing down and blowing a hooley again today...back to winter AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! >:(


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anonsi on May 28, 2009, 12:05:45 AM
Yeah it was pouring down rain here yesterday, too. And today it's as dark as ever--it looks like it could start up again at any moment. Where's my sunshine?!?!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on January 17, 2010, 09:33:15 PM
Hi everyone
Sydney is very warm and humid at the moment and all the tropical plants are in their element. I have been trying to post some images for a while and I think I have worked it out finally. This image of a Jacaranda was taken in November which is the peak flowering time for this South American Native. It is a stunning tree and has been planted in many Sydney gardens and in Queensland further north and when whole streets are lined with them the effect is incredible. Especially since at the same time a red flowering and a yellow flowering tree are in bloom. When you are on a high point looking out over the streetscapes it is a glorious colour combination


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on January 17, 2010, 09:38:26 PM
Sounds wonderful, smaug. Both the vision you describe and the temperature. Although it's quite mild here in the UK today we've had dreadful weather over the last few weeks - snow, snow and more snow. Apparently the coldest winter for 30 years or so. A spot of warm weather and beautiful flowering trees would hit the spot very nicely.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on January 17, 2010, 10:01:03 PM
Glad you got to see the image at least Pat!
When I was in the UK in 1985 they said the same thing about the weather - they were skiing on the French Riviera that year!

Here.s another tree for you - a Moreton Bay Fig. This particular one is in the Domain of Sydney  - right in the middle of town and next to the Botanic Gardens. It is an area used for outdoor concerts and is in full gear at the moment because the Sydney Festival goes on for the whole of January - there is opera in the Park, symphony and so on and it is a family event generally speaking. The trees provide a lovely backdrop and shade. They grow very large and have beautiful trunks often with a veil of aerial roots reaching down the ground. They are able to start growing in small cracks in the sandstone rocks of the area and the aerial roots give them added support

These Moreton Bay figs were widely planted in the early years of Sydneys development and are now quite old by Australian standards - getting to 100 years
They fruit each year and attract possums, Flying Foxes ( a large bat) and many birds such as channel billed Cuckoos. There is a bat colony of hundreds of individuals in the Botanic Gardens and unfortunately they are rather unattractive in some respects - they damage the trees. are very raucous and stink!

They also carry a rather nasty virus which has killed a bloke

However, when they fly from their daily roost at sunset, and are joined by a very large colony in a nearby suburb that borders forest, the sight is absolutely amazing.  Once when driving through the city - Sydney is not a small town, this was in between sky scrapers and a busy metropolis - the bats overhead flew so close as to be reflected in the glass windows of the city office blocks. The sky was darkening (we dont get twilight) but was a beautiful burnt orange, and hundreds and hundreds of bats streamed across it, with soft flapping of their wings and  raucous calls to each other as they spread out over the suburbs to feed. We get them in our trees at home here.
   
 










Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on January 17, 2010, 10:25:29 PM
You're really determined to make me envious aren't you, smaug!

Can humans eat the figs from these trees? I love fresh figs but we hardly ever get them here, and those do that do make the shops are often ridiculously overpriced and not very tasty.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on January 17, 2010, 10:34:57 PM
Its just I know that you are interested Pat - after all you began this thread.
And you went to the Antarctic - I am lucky to have these things so close to home

The figs are not edible that I know of, but we can grow the edible fruit here and get fruit if the whole thing is encaged because the bats, possums and birds get to the fruit before humans do! Figs like this grow best in South Australia, where they have a hot but dry weather, much like the Mediterranean. They are expensive here too but are delicious in a fig and pear tart, or made into Jam with ginger.

But for tonights finale is a tree which burns with fire - the Illawarra Flame Tree
Spectacular  isnt it? And when the flowers finish they form fantastic large seed pods, Like a large, brown, stubby bean
This one attracts hundreds of different pollen eating insects
Keep warm !!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on January 17, 2010, 11:01:03 PM
You're right, smaug, and it's good to see someone posting photos. Have you got any of the fruit bats or any local birds? Or any local anythings come to that!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Steadyguy on January 18, 2010, 05:46:20 AM
This is all fascinating stuff. Keep it comin'. :-H :-H :-H


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on January 18, 2010, 05:54:58 AM
These are local Pat
I take them on my mobile phone when I am driving around Sydney - but the bats are active at night which may be difficult . I will go to the Botanic Gardens where they roost in the trees one day to get some shots


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on January 18, 2010, 10:31:27 AM
Those pictures are so beautiful - thank you for posting them!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on January 18, 2010, 10:56:34 PM
The flame tree is stunning...can you send me some seeds please?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on January 19, 2010, 09:53:36 AM
I dont know if you are allowed to tech - will research
I am in Queensland, northern Australia just now, which is more tropical than Sydney and it is a beautiful 31 degrees celsius, cerulean blue sky. The Poincianas are in flower - lovely medium size tree with feathery looking  :-red flower clusters. Will try to get a piccy
ciao forumites


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on January 19, 2010, 08:22:27 PM
Lucky you (again), smaug. I saw poincianas in bloom in  Tenerife. Stopped me in my tracks.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on January 20, 2010, 09:37:41 PM
I must admit I did feel lucky Pat - I got up early this morning and walked along the Brisbane River and then the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Lovely and green with loads of tropical plants
A highlight was an award winning arbour that stretches for 100's of metres and winds along the river - it is covered in a clipped Purple Bouganvillea and looks simply stunning - just like a purple and green ribbon
piccys ASAP


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on January 29, 2010, 08:43:17 PM
This isn't a nature pic as such, but a link to a video which is simply delightful. Check it out:

http://video.tiscali.it/canali/truveo/611_1234581161.html


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on January 29, 2010, 11:17:08 PM
Sorry, Pat, had to leave that site asap .... monkey type creatures are another of my "pet" hates!!  Ironically, according to Chinese astrology, I was born in the year of the monkey ... would rather be a cat, natch!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on January 30, 2010, 05:05:04 AM
Oh Linda! What have you got against primates? They're our closest relatives after all!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: roberts on January 30, 2010, 06:12:51 PM
...what about Rafaballs?...he's a 'monkey type creature'...

 8)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on January 31, 2010, 03:23:28 AM
Pat - can't stand them ... give me the creeps!

roberts - your snide comment doesn't even warrant a reply!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: roberts on January 31, 2010, 10:36:16 AM
...doh...i think you'll find that qualifies...although i had been hoping for more...

 8)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on January 31, 2010, 09:56:44 PM
Half a comment for half a face seems fair to me!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: roberts on January 31, 2010, 10:03:00 PM
roger...roger...roger...

 8)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 01, 2010, 01:36:57 AM
I have to admit that I'm not very fond of monkeys/apes either.  I liked Meerkat Manor much more than Orangutan Island (or whatever that was called).


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on February 01, 2010, 05:03:50 AM
Ignoring Mr Half Face .....

birdy, my hubby loves Meerkat Manor (I'm not too keen on them either - meerkats, that is, not manors!!) ... haven't seen Orangutan Island but it sounds gross!   >:D



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: a non-amos on February 01, 2010, 11:17:27 AM
Just a minor footnote, for the record:

The last time I checked, homo sapiens was classified as both a primate and also an ape.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 01, 2010, 06:22:31 PM
what a lovely video Pat = we could all do with a friend like that!

Its been been hot here in Sydney and very humid. Awful weather but the garden is very lush

Will post some more NATURE photos soon. Any body else like to show us what is around their neighbourhoods?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 05, 2010, 08:19:05 PM
There were some unexpected pleasures to be had from the recent cold spell we had here. Here's one:



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on February 05, 2010, 09:10:00 PM
Just like the one my cat 'played' with!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 05, 2010, 09:14:17 PM
What a lovely thing Pat
I love birds.
In Sydney we have sweet little birds called Blue Wrens that fill the same niche as robins. That little Robin. must have been hungry


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 06, 2010, 12:04:34 AM
I just googled blue wrens, Smaug - what pretty little birds!  They reminded me of our titmouse, which is also fairly easy to train to feed from the hand.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 06, 2010, 12:49:51 AM
Yes I think it was hungry, smaug. The photo was taken at the nature reserve where you can often get a robin to come on to your hand. That particular day was very unusual though - there were 5 robins in the same tree (unusual in itself as they viciously defend their territory) and several of them came on to my hand.

There's a lovely quote from Emily Dickinson that I like:

"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 06, 2010, 07:18:40 AM
so true Pat
Birds are a great indicator of the health of an area
I had a friend who worked in Mexicpo City and the thing he missed most was birdcall - there were no birds around, not even horrid ones!
We are very lucky here in Sydney to have so many birds available to us, and the Blue Wren is one of my favourites Birdy


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on February 10, 2010, 10:48:40 PM
Pat, what a fab picture, you should get that on a christmas card next year....

Linda....i was falling about reading your response...in fact i can barely see to type....absolutely peeing myself laughing here...and everyone in the office [20+ men, ]think i'm nuts....


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on February 10, 2010, 11:09:42 PM
 >:D >:D >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Steadyguy on February 12, 2010, 08:17:42 PM
Pat, what a fab picture, you should get that on a christmas card next year....


Yes indeed, a lovely photo Pat....colour cooridinated with your lovely coat!!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: technomc on February 23, 2010, 01:38:08 AM
I just re-read your post Linda.....it had me chuckling all over again...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on February 23, 2010, 01:55:14 AM
I'm sure the serious bird lovers on here didn't find it quite so amusing!  >:D   Glad to give you a chuckle, mate!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 23, 2010, 07:03:57 AM
We have eagles in Australia that eat cats.  :angel:


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 23, 2010, 03:49:54 PM
The battle of the species - feathers and fur flying?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 23, 2010, 04:02:59 PM
I am afraid the feathers normally lose out when it comes to cats, those decimators of our wildlife, except for those eagles!

There are several areas in Australia that have been fenced off and all the cats and foxes disposed of to allow our endangered small marsupials to have a chance.
It is interesting to note that the wild cats of the western area of Australia have a different genetic inheritance than the east and probably arrived earlier than the British cats of the 1700's - possibly from Dutch or Portugese.
 
Whichever way they came even the domestic moggie does much harm to the wildlife and cat owners on the whole persist in letting their cats roam around, especially at night when a lot of Australian wildlife is active.

I really like that book p '100 uses for a dead cat'


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Steadyguy on February 23, 2010, 09:36:32 PM
Pat, what a fab picture, you should get that on a christmas card next year....


Yes indeed, a lovely photo Pat....colour cooridinated with your lovely coat!! (God another typo from me) I need to start consecrating! :-R :-R :-R


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on February 23, 2010, 11:18:51 PM
Quote
I really like that book p '100 uses for a dead cat'

Outrageous!!  :o


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 24, 2010, 08:46:53 AM

It is interesting to note that the wild cats of the western area of Australia have a different genetic inheritance than the east and probably arrived earlier than the British cats of the 1700's - possibly from Dutch or Portugese.

Interesting!  Never knew that.  I had always assumed that they basically came in with the British settlers or later immigrants.

  Whichever way they came even the domestic moggie does much harm to the wildlife and cat owners on the whole persist in letting their cats roam around, especially at night when a lot of Australian wildlife is active.

Our various ecology-minded organizations try to get people to keep their cats indoors, especially when young birds are fledging, but it's hard to persuade the owners.  Maybe a few well-publicized eagle attacks would encourage people to realize that keeping the cats inside is better for the cats as well as the other animals.  I know that indoor cats generally have a much longer life than those that go outdoors.


  I really like that book p '100 uses for a dead cat'

I like cats (and dogs, and birds, and most other vertebrates (not too fond of monkeys, sheep, bears, sharks, or poisonous snakes), but I'm not crazy about irresponsible owners.  But I laughed at that book too.  That might just be my strange sense of humor, though.  I also liked the "Roadkill Cookbook."



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 24, 2010, 09:33:07 AM
Yes Birdy I am being a bit facetious really - I like all creatures and would never be cruel to any of them. I look to Kahlil Gibran whenever I must intervene with an injured creature or harmful pest.
 Unfortunately a lot of introduced animals have had a very serious impact on indigenous Australian wildlife and must be controlled or we will lose some of the unique creatures rthat exisy here. Camels are a huge problem in our inland region for instance and there are wild pigs,goats, horses, donkeys, ostriches, cats, rabbits, rats, mice, pigeons, indian mynahs and the list goes on

I stand corrected about the genetic inheritance of cats, but I remember reading an article about it which was discussing the question of who really discovered Australia and when


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 24, 2010, 11:26:02 AM
Smaug, I wasn't correcting you about the cats' ancestry!  It's just that I hadn't heard it before.

Imported animals and plants are a problem everywhere, but especially on islands - Hawaii has lost a fairly large percentage of its native birds, both because of introduced bird species and because of avian malaria, brought in from the New World tropics.  And I know there have been huge problems in New Zealand.  But even on continents, introduced species are a big problem.  Florida has a lot of problems with tropical species who have little problem surviving - lots of reptiles, parrots, plants and even fish.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: smaug on February 24, 2010, 12:28:47 PM
Sorry Birdy - I didnt think that, I meant I am prepared to be corrected if anyone knows specifics - didnt want to sound like an expert!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on December 02, 2011, 10:57:40 PM
I've just been on a birding holiday in Panama and seen some fab birds. Here's a photo of one of them. If anyone would like to seen any more, let me know.

Warning to Linda

This bird has serious pecking equipment. You have been warned!


















Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on December 02, 2011, 11:42:05 PM
First of all, pat, lucky you to have been on such a wonderful trip.  Second of all (!) thanks for the warning .... I should have heeded it!!  Will I never learn?  >:D

Am off to stay in a hotel near Bassenthwaite Lake tomorrow and apparently there is a Bird of Prey Centre nearby ... am hoping not to become the prey!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on December 04, 2011, 12:16:10 AM
Luckily, Linda, I think those centers usually have either well-trained birds used in falconry demonstrations or ones that are sufficiently damaged that they cannot survive in the wild and probably can't fly.  So you would probably be safe.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on December 04, 2011, 12:19:35 AM
And anyway, Linda, it would have to be a mighty big bird to carry you off in its talons!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on December 04, 2011, 08:13:31 PM
Hi Pat
What a fab picture - I would certainly love to see some more.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on December 05, 2011, 09:15:30 PM
Quote
And anyway, Linda, it would have to be a mighty big bird to carry you off in its talons!

For all you know, pat, I must just be the size of a vole!!  Anyway, I'm not and I didn't get attacked by any winged creature so all is well.

Weather report: We got our first flurries of snow yesterday and the word is whitish and cold today!  A day for log fires and writing Christmas cards, I think.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on December 06, 2011, 12:49:59 AM
For all you know, pat, I must just be the size of a vole!! 

Oh, Linda, we would NEVER think of you as mousey!  :laugh:


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on December 06, 2011, 12:54:25 AM
Voley or moley, maybe, but def. not mousey!!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 25, 2016, 08:32:34 PM
From the sublime to the ridiculous - two photos from my recent Costa Rica tour.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Tom44 on March 26, 2016, 12:16:42 PM
which is sublime and which is ridiculous?  I'm assuming the vulture is sublime since it is so perfectly engineered for its niche and the other bird has that ridiculously long tail, right?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 26, 2016, 07:22:53 PM
Well that's certainly a different take on it, Tom!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on March 26, 2016, 07:28:58 PM
Presumably both the quetzal's beautiful tail and the knobbly bits on the vulture's bill have parts to play in the evolutionary process, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

I know which one I'd prefer to see perching on the tree in my back garden, however!

MK 


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 26, 2016, 08:02:48 PM
But when you see a bird like this it does make you wonder what on earth evolution had in mind!

(I've wanted to get a decent photo of the keel-billed toucan for 10 years, ever since I first saw it in Costa Rica. Ambition achieved at last.)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: yelnats on March 26, 2016, 10:40:09 PM
If I remember from my days in America Central, a quetzal was also the monetary unit of Guatemala. No doubt with Latino inflation they may have had half a dozen new ones since then.

I also have fond memories of Cost Rica, the only country in the Americas where the police did not wear guns!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 26, 2016, 11:09:53 PM
You're right, yelnats. Not only is the quetzal the currency of Guatemala, the resplendent quetzal is also their national bird.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on March 27, 2016, 04:57:04 PM
Great pictures, Pat!  I've seen both, but never got such a good look at a king vulture.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on March 27, 2016, 05:16:15 PM
The picture of the Toucan reminds me of the Guinness ads which were everywhere when I was young.

MK


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 27, 2016, 08:46:41 PM
Birdy, it was a photo shoot set up for us. They put some sort of carcass out on an undulating grassy area overlooked by a hide (I mention that it was undulating because thankfully the carcass was placed behind a slight hump so we couldn't actually see it, although it didn't obscure our view of the birds). There were probably about 30 birds in all, about 20 of which were black vultures, tiny in comparison to the other 10 which were king vultures.

Mike, I remember those adverts, too. They used toco toucans, the largest member of the family, and I think there were probably several different ads. Here's one I found on youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCMZUp9fHtg

I like the bird's final squawk right at the end when it realizes that it might have gone too far.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on March 27, 2016, 10:18:09 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxXZ_uEVr9c
 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxXZ_uEVr9c)


I feel it is time for a change from feathers to fur!   >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 27, 2016, 11:33:51 PM
I knew you'd put in an appearance at some point, Linda! Well done on refraining from squawks of protest!

 :-)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Les303 on March 28, 2016, 03:45:43 PM
Liked the Guinness ad , particularly the last bit.
Checkout the link below for some humorous Australian beer ads.
Being a parochial Queenslander , my favourite is of course the xxxx gold ad filmed in Queensland.
Cricket fans from around the world , should , or in fact do you recognise the cast as they were all prominent members of the the Australian Test Team of that period led by Captain cranky.?
/www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX5UGJGhVIo  (Thanks pat ..as you say Easy peasy )


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 28, 2016, 07:56:05 PM
Well done, Les, but as you can probably see from your post you're not quite there yet. If you look at the other links that have been posted in the thread you'll see that they include https:// before www. and they're blue. Whenever you see a web address like that, in blue, you can simply click on it and open the web page.

With your link you have to copy it into the address bar of a browser page; the https (or sometimes just http) bit will automatically be added when you hit enter.

So if you want to provide a link that people can just click on, make sure you copy the whole of the URL (that's what the web address is called. It's unique to every page and stands for Uniform Resource Locator) into the address bar. Then for people who want to view it it really is easy-peasy for them, too.

By the way, do you know that you can look at what you've written before you actually post it? If you click on the 'Preview' button you'll be able to, well, preview your post before you make it live. You can repeat this several times and it enables you to correct any errors before you post it.

Also, if you post it and then realize you've made a mistake you can correct it by clicking on the 'Modify' link at the top of the post and following the same procedure.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Les303 on March 29, 2016, 03:52:32 PM
Thanks for today's lesson Pat.
I had no clue about the preview or modify options let alone what in the hell a URL was.
Anyway i hope that at least everyone out there got a good laugh from my incompetence.

( I'm using the modify option to add on this bit )

Just need to correct yet another mistake & that is that only 3 of the cast members actually played for Australia , the fourth represented both New South Wales & Queensland but never played for Australia.
Hopefully this link will take you straight to the ad if anyone is remotely interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX5UGJGhVIo


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 30, 2016, 01:01:38 AM
I'm sure no one is laughing at your incompetence, Les. Shame on them if they are - computers were new to all of some at some stage. I suspect you've learnt a fair bit just by using this web site.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on March 30, 2016, 04:45:36 AM
Anyway i hope that at least everyone out there got a good laugh from my incompetence.

Believe me, Les303, I'm not laughing.  Or if I were, it would be in the sense of, "We're all in this together."  I still haven't figured out how to post pictures, in spite of the instructions so kindly given me by other forumites.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Les303 on March 30, 2016, 02:06:20 PM
Aauuwww ..You guys are so nice.. & your right , i am learning a lot as this is the first inter active site that i've been on so please don't try to teach me how to post pictures as i'm getting into enough trouble by just trying to string a few words together.. :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 21, 2016, 03:24:13 AM
A photo of the star bird of my recent trip to Bhutan. It's a type of pheasant called a satyr tragopan. Our local guide had heard one calling as we were travelling along. We got out of the bus just as it started to rain and the guide and the driver between them managed to pull and push us all up a short but very steep and muddy slope into a field. As we stood there looking for the bird a violent thunderstorm raged round us and we were pelted with hail. No sign of the bird and we got back in the bus, wet, cold and dejected. It stopped hailing as we set off again and a couple of hundred yards further on we came across this beauty grazing peacefully by the side of the road, completely unconcerned by our presence.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on April 21, 2016, 04:15:35 AM
Totally amazing Pat. What a great picture :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 21, 2016, 04:34:15 AM
Thanks, Penny. Here's another pheasant, the Himalayan monal. A photo doesn't really do justice to its colours.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: ensiform on April 21, 2016, 09:56:11 AM
Wow!  Great pictures!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on April 21, 2016, 07:35:47 PM
... and so very tasty!!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on April 22, 2016, 04:17:20 AM
Another smashing picture Pat :) Any more??  Pennyx


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 22, 2016, 08:09:43 PM
How about these two beauties? The one on the flower is a Mrs. Gould's sunbird and the other is a green-tailed sunbird. In Africa and Asia sunbirds make up for the absence of hummingbirds.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on April 23, 2016, 04:24:34 AM
Stunning Pat thanks. Wish I had them in my garden. Make a change from blackbirds & blue tits. How on earth do you take these fabulous pictures without disturbing the birds?  Zoom? Sorry you can tell I'm not much of a photographer!  ??? :laugh:  Pennyx


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 23, 2016, 07:55:34 AM
I'm not that much of a photographer myself to be honest. I have a good camera with a 100-400 zoom lens and sometimes I get lucky. You should see my rubbish photos - they far outnumber the good ones! But there's a certain thrill to be had when you're sifting through endless naff photos and you come across one that you really like, a thrill that's denied to good photographers.  :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on April 23, 2016, 10:23:25 PM
Beautiful birds - would love to see them in person, but maybe not in hail.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 30, 2016, 02:04:07 PM
Recent addition to my own collection of photos - Thick Legged Flower Beetle, Oedemera nobilis.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 30, 2016, 07:25:30 PM
Nice.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on December 20, 2016, 01:28:21 AM
I've just seen this photo on Facebook. What a shot!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on December 20, 2016, 02:16:36 AM
What a wonderful photo.

On the subject of wildlife photography, I've just been watching the first episode of David Attenborough's 'Planet Earth II'.
I'm gobsmacked!
And I've still got five more episodes to look forward to!

From the opening moments (a ninety-year-old man two miles high in a balloon!), the super-ultra-high-definition photography is incredible.

MK


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on December 20, 2016, 02:38:18 AM
And you'll enjoy them all, Mike.

As you say, the photography is amazing. The 'diaries' section at the end gives you an idea of what the cameramen and women endure to bring the shots to us. They must have incredible patience.

In the 'jungles' episode there's film of the sword-billed hummingbird, ending with a shot of it preening (it can't use its bill like other birds because of its length so it has to use its foot). When I was in Ecuador a couple of years ago there was a BBC cameraman at one of the places we visited. He'd been patiently sitting there for a week hoping to get footage of just that (the bird preening), possibly for the Planet Earth series. At the time we spoke to him he hadn't been successful. I don't know how much longer he kept up his vigil.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 27, 2017, 08:52:05 PM
I've just got back from an amazing tour of Kenya where some of the birds are beautifully coloured and relatively easy to photograph. Here's one of a golden-breasted starling, a stunning bird.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Leedscot on April 27, 2017, 09:00:38 PM
Brilliant photo.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on April 27, 2017, 09:09:16 PM
Nice and brightly coloured - makes it easier for a cat to spot!!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 27, 2017, 09:14:37 PM
Bang - you're dead!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on April 27, 2017, 09:18:18 PM
I'm feline quite sick after seeing that vicious looking b**d!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on April 27, 2017, 09:46:00 PM
Quite a star(t)ling experience for you, Linda!

Pat, as always, a superb picture.
Presumably, this is a male and the bright colours are to attract females.

MK


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on April 27, 2017, 09:52:23 PM
Yes, it made me feel quite fowl!   >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 27, 2017, 10:09:03 PM

Presumably, this is a male and the bright colours are to attract females.


The sexes are actually the same, Mike. Real bobby-dazzlers.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on June 01, 2017, 03:07:08 AM
Beautiful bird!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Leedscot on June 07, 2017, 09:20:16 AM
Park at the bottom of my street.

Jock


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on June 07, 2017, 09:29:59 AM
Lovely shades of green. How lucky you are to have that at the bottom of your street.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on June 08, 2017, 06:37:11 AM
Here's a couple of non-avian ones for you, Linda. A lion revealing what a hard life it is on the Masai Mara and a baby elephant, about 4 weeks old.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on June 08, 2017, 06:59:29 PM
Thank you, Pat.  Not a feather to be seen - lovely!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on June 08, 2017, 07:19:57 PM
If I felt the same way as you do about birds, Linda, I'd be a rich woman!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on June 08, 2017, 07:25:13 PM
 ???  How would that be, Pat?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on June 08, 2017, 08:33:43 PM
It costs me a fortune to go on these birding tours. Not only do the tour participants (which range in number from about 5 - 12) have to pay for their own holiday, they also have to pay for the accommodation and flights of the tour leader, services of the local guide, plus, of course, profit for the birding company, all of which make these tours very expensive. Most participants are there as singles (by which I mean that many are married but have partners who aren't interested in birds), and most aren't prepared to share a room with a stranger, meaning that on top of everything else there's a hefty single room supplement to pay. For my Australia tour in October the single room supplement alone is £1,500!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on June 08, 2017, 08:56:45 PM
Hell's teeth!  You must be keen!  Still, you get to see some amazing places and beautiful (?) feathered creatures. 

I get to see a heron some mornings on my stroll to work!  Luckily, it hasn't flown at me ... yet!  I do leg it past at a fairly rapid pace and with a highly rapid heart rate though!!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Leedscot on June 08, 2017, 10:36:07 PM
Family portrait and an example of bokeh. Cheaper through the window of your own house, but admittedly not so exotic.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on June 08, 2017, 11:38:08 PM
How lucky you are to get bullfinches in the garden! I've only ever had one in mine. He stood in the middle of the patio looking as if he was wondering what on earth he was doing there and then disappeared, never to be seen again. Lovely birds.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: yelnats on June 09, 2017, 07:31:24 AM
They're exotic here!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anonsi on June 13, 2017, 12:36:13 AM
They're exotic here!

Really? Are all finches exotic there or just the bullfinch? Finches are quite common here; especially the goldfinch which is our state bird.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: yelnats on June 13, 2017, 06:46:14 AM
I meant that bullfinches are exotic. http://www.australianfinches.com/#sthash.FVRpki23.dpbs (http://www.australianfinches.com/#sthash.FVRpki23.dpbs) lists 20 native  finches, and it has the locally seen red browed finch.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on June 13, 2017, 08:31:30 AM
I'm hoping to see some of those in October, especially the gouldian finch.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Leedscot on September 01, 2017, 11:41:27 PM
Pat,

You can tell by now whether the juvenile bullfinches are males or females. They're all fat, greedy bullies, of course, but you're right, they do add a dash of colour.

Jock


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on September 02, 2017, 02:29:18 AM
How lucky you are to have bullfinches in the garden, Jock, even if they are fat, greedy bullies!

I had about eight of these little beauties a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately they never hang around for very long as they're always on the move.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Leedscot on September 02, 2017, 08:57:47 PM
A lot of these little garden birds are so fast, they're difficult to photograph – well done for getting this cracker!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on September 03, 2017, 12:52:26 AM
Long-tailed tits are actually quite approachable, Jock. I was quite close to this one when I snapped it.

At my local nature reserve there are robins that will readily come to your hand if you offer them food, but last time I was there someone told me that he'd seen someone hand-feeding a long-tailed tit.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on September 04, 2017, 03:26:17 AM
I haven't been able to get a good picture of long-tailed tits, because they move around so quickly.  My friend in Preston has regular visits from bullfinches, but she does provide a generous table for them and their friends.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on March 06, 2018, 08:26:07 PM
I've just got back from Sri Lanka which has lots of gorgeous butterflies as well as birds. This one was particularly lovely,  a common jezebel, one of a small group of butterflies whose underwing is more brightly coloured than the topside.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on March 07, 2018, 05:37:05 AM
Smashing picture Pat.  What a beautiful butterfly.  Look forward to seeing some more of your pictures.
Penny


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on March 07, 2018, 10:29:23 AM
Lovely butterfly, Pat.  I spend much too much time on FB nature sites.  Those pictures are addictive.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 08, 2018, 10:52:19 PM
Just got back from a trip to Peru where I saw this gorgeous little bird, a rufous-crested coquette, just two and a half inches long. His favourite perch was in a leafless tree just a few yards away. Linda - even you might like this one!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anonsi on August 08, 2018, 11:50:03 PM
I saw a funny series of National Geographic photographers with animals on or near them while in action. And now this is how I visualize you, Pat.

(https://www.reckontalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/18-Crazy-Photos-Of-Mad-Photographers-Who-Will-Do-Anything-For-The-Perfect-Shot-8.jpg)

(https://www.reckontalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/18-Crazy-Photos-Of-Mad-Photographers-Who-Will-Do-Anything-For-The-Perfect-Shot-18.jpg)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Linda on August 09, 2018, 12:59:47 AM
Quote
Linda - even you might like this one!

I've seen more hideous b****, Pat.  Hope you had a good trip.  I have just come back from Verona, Venice and Vicenza (VVV) and can't recall seeing any b**** other than the odd seagull!  Perhaps the heat is forcing them to stay out of the sun because it was ridiculously hot - just the weather for mad dogs and Englishmen!  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 09, 2018, 03:53:19 AM
I saw a funny series of National Geographic photographers with animals on or near them while in action. And now this is how I visualize you, Pat.

These folks are dedicated photographers! Not quite what I am, I'm afraid. I'd never describer myself as a photographer, but I'm a bit more than a point-and-shoot-er. Perhaps a snapographer.  >:D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on August 09, 2018, 04:21:54 AM
Smashing picture Pat.  Don't think you do yourself justice - your pictures are brilliant :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 09, 2018, 05:09:18 AM
Pen, you know that saying about monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare? Well the same sort of thing applies to me - I've got a good camera and lens and I'm not completely useless so occasionally I manage a nice photo. But thanks anyway!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on August 09, 2018, 08:34:06 AM
Pretty little bird, Pat. One I haven't seen, though I did see the tufted coquette at Asa Wright in Trinidad.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on August 10, 2018, 10:03:03 AM
Just got back from a trip to Peru where I saw this gorgeous little bird, a rufous-crested coquette, just two and a half inches long. His favourite perch was in a leafless tree just a few yards away. Linda - even you might like this one!

You've been to Peru?

Don't suppose you saw this on your travels there, did you?

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b6/Morpho_rhetenor_rhetenor_MHNT_dos.jpg/1024px-Morpho_rhetenor_rhetenor_MHNT_dos.jpg)

Only that's a native of Peru, and it's my big target species to hunt down if ever I go there.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 10, 2018, 07:16:04 PM
Is this a species of blue morpho? There are some gorgeous butterflies and moths in Peru. I did see a couple of huge blue ones but I’ve no idea what they were.

The Owlet Lodge, where we stayed for a few nights, had the outside walls of its cabins painted a sort of pale mustard colour and lights were left on overnight. In the mornings the walls were covered with the most amazing selection of insects, mostly moths but also lots of beetles (many on their backs on the ground, waving their legs around, which of course I had to turn the right way up) and other intriguing things like stick insects.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 10, 2018, 08:22:20 PM
As an expert on things entomological, Calilasseia, can you tell me what this is? It's about the size of my little finger nail and was walking at a fair pace along a long wooden railing (hence the not very sharp photo). It got to the end, realized it couldn't go any further, turned round and started to go back. Any large ants it encountered gave way to it, but tiny ants didn't. In fact one seemed to nick a bit of the white stuff, which I assume the insect is carrying as some sort of protection.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 11, 2018, 05:00:41 AM
Just by way of a change, here's a photo of a moth. It's perfectly beautiful and beautifully perfect.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Leedscot on August 11, 2018, 08:47:18 AM
Stunning, Pat. Taken where?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on August 11, 2018, 09:44:05 AM
Just by way of a change, here's a photo of a moth. It's perfectly beautiful and beautifully perfect.

If that's from Peru, then it's Pachydota nervosa. It's a cloud forest species.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on August 11, 2018, 09:49:07 AM
As an expert on things entomological, Calilasseia, can you tell me what this is? It's about the size of my little finger nail and was walking at a fair pace along a long wooden railing (hence the not very sharp photo). It got to the end, realized it couldn't go any further, turned round and started to go back. Any large ants it encountered gave way to it, but tiny ants didn't. In fact one seemed to nick a bit of the white stuff, which I assume the insect is carrying as some sort of protection.

If that was taken in Peru, then that's one for the Natural History Museum. I suspect it could be a scale insect of some sort, with that extravagant white fluff on its back, but scale insects are notoriously difficult to identify without dissection even among the UK fauna, and as for South America, well ... there's a lifetime's research waiting for anyone who wants to study the scale insects of the region.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 11, 2018, 05:50:50 PM
Both photos were taken in Peru.

After asking Calilasseia what the weird creature might be I did a bit of online research and found a web site called www.whatsthatbug.com. I submitted the photo to them and they said it was a planthopper nymph, probably in the family Fulgoridae. The white stuff on its back consists of waxy secretions which, being waterproof and easily detachable, both keep the nymph dry and protect it - if a predator takes a bite it’s likely to go off with a beak/mouthful of wax while the nymph escapes.

Ain’t nature grand?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on August 12, 2018, 09:41:46 AM
Oh good grief. Fulgorid planthoppers are another one of those groups that even experts have trouble with, when identifying to species level. They're notorious for this.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on August 12, 2018, 03:41:30 PM
Pretty bug, Pat.  I am a big fan of our Bugguide.net, which helps me label my unknowns.  Unfortunately, that's just for the USA and Canada, but for anyone finding bugs in those locations, it's invaluable.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anona on August 12, 2018, 09:44:46 PM
As someone who can usually tell a moth from a butterfly, can recognise ladybirds and take a stab at cabbage whites (if near cabbages) and red admirals, I'd agree with Calilasseia. Have you reached a decision, Pat, or should we take a vote on it?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 12, 2018, 10:15:25 PM
Hi Anona. I'm inclined to go with the chap from What's that bug. He sent me a link to another photo of a planthopper nymph for comparison and apart from the colour of the eyes it's very similar to mine.

https://www.reddit.com/r/awwnverts/comments/2yfwph/waxy_planthopper_nymph_or_possibly_a_new_pokemon/


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anona on August 13, 2018, 07:42:41 AM
Oh! I've not followed carefully enough, then. I was looking at the picture you posted at 8pm on the 10th. Sorry, Pat.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 13, 2018, 09:10:21 AM
Cross purposes, methinks. I agree with Calilasseia’s identification of the moth.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on August 27, 2018, 08:51:30 AM
Meanwhile, I've had this turn up at a recent moth trapping session (see photo). It's been identified by an expert at the Natural History Museum as Opheltes glaucopterus, and it's big. As in close to an inch long, which by Ichneumon Wasp standards in the UK, is pretty big - most species in the UK fauna have a body length under 10mm, and some are as small as 3.5 mm long. The big ones, as a consequence, tend to be noticeable among entomologists, even those who specialise in other insect groups, because the big ones stand out, and this one stood out because it was even bigger than the usual Ophion species that turn up at moth traps.

Anyway, I sent the photo and the record details off to my local biological records centre, and the only other record they have of this species in my area dates back to, wait for it, 1947. So apparently I've found the first individual of this species in my area for nearly 72 years.

This beast makes its living as a parasitoid on the larvae of large Cimbicid sawflies.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: yelnats on August 27, 2018, 12:13:34 PM
My wife has been feeding the local magpie family for a few years now and recently the lorikeets came to check out whether they could get some food too, so I made a feeder and...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Valerie on August 27, 2018, 06:18:54 PM
Well done Calilasseia.  And a fantastic photograph to boot.  You must be over the moon.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on August 27, 2018, 06:24:42 PM
And a bonus for yelnats, too. Beautiful rainbow lorikeet.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Les303 on August 27, 2018, 06:33:15 PM
G'day Cal,

I reckon that they should rename that moth ; Calopheltes glaucopterus


Cheers Les


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Valerie on August 27, 2018, 07:31:48 PM
Yes, indeed, yelnats.  A great shot.  We are so fortunate to have so many beautiful feathered friends.  Here's my avatar, the laughing kookaburra, and his mate.
 


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Les303 on August 27, 2018, 07:37:40 PM
Thanks Val,

Now that I can see it clearly, I can appreciate what wonderfully clever costumes they are. ( assuming they are costumes )

Cheers Les


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Hobbit on August 28, 2018, 04:48:03 AM
Thanks Yelnats & Val
Beautiful pictures.  You are so very lucky to have these on your doorstep :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on August 28, 2018, 10:48:32 AM
the only other record they have of this species in my area dates back to, wait for it, 1947. So apparently I've found the first individual of this species in my area for nearly 72 years.

Congratulations of finding that rarity , Cassilasseia, and even more, on realizing that it was worth checking out.  Citizen science!

I recently joined a new Facebook group (Birds, Blooms, Beasts, Bugs and Butterflies).  It's a group for posting nature photos, and hopefully learning from other group members about what they're seeing, and has strict rules about only nice things being said.  Well, it was started by Canadians, so of course they're nice.  So far, I think I've been doing more IDing (other folks' pictures) than anyone else.  This is a little disheartening, because if I know more than most of the other people, this is a sad state of affairs.  I always have to preface my IDs with "I think this is..." or"This might be..." because I'm no expert.

On the other hand, at least all these people are enjoying looking at nature!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on August 31, 2018, 01:33:09 PM
Birdy, if you're in touch with people seeking IDs for insects in North America, then this website (https://bugguide.net/node/view/15740) is a valuable resource to share with those people. Covers all insect Orders with distribution maps where the data is known.

If those people are trying to track down moth IDs, then point them here (http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/Plates.shtml). This site covers almost all the 'Hodges numbers' - these are the numbers assigned to moth species in North America by the experts, as listed in the Hodges Catalogue. That site has images of both set specimens and living specimens, and distribution maps.

Want to track down a butterfly in North America? This website (http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/list.htm) will come in handy, as will this website (https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/), which covers both butterflies and moths on a state by state basis.

If your friends have trouble tracking down their species of interest even with those websites available, then they're probably found something that requires expert attention. Basically, whilst butterflies and moths are among the friendlier insects from an ID standpoint, with many identifiable by visual inspection of the colour pattern alone, be aware that even among these insects, there are troublesome species that can only be identified conclusively by dissection. The situation becomes a lot worse if you move into beetles, ants, caddis flies, and various 'minor Orders' such as the Psyllids, where you're dealing with organisms that are frequently identifiable only by dissection. There are visually identifiable species, of course, but when you move into more specialist insect groupings, they're very definitely in the minority.

The "gold standard" for insect identification, is, of course, genital dissection. The reason this has become the "gold standard", is because entomologists made an interesting discovery in the early history of the discipline. Namely, that the chitinous parts of insect genitalia are frequently as valuable for identification, as fingerprints have been to the forensic scientist. Of course, to make use of this technique, one has to immerse oneself in the minutiae of insect genital anatomy, which is a lifetime's study in its own right, but thanks to those who have gone before and exerted decades of diligent labour on the matter, the data available is now voluminous, at least for the major Orders. The Lepidoptera in particular has been subject to intensive study in this regard, courtesy of the fact that Lepidoptera genitalia happen to be some of the most morphologically diverse among the insects, with only the Fleas exhibiting greater diversity. Indeed, the Rabbit Flea is regarded as having possibly the most complex genitalia known to science, the male genitalia in particular boasting a positively rococo array of attachments that make the parts look like a Swiss Army knife under the microscope, but there are Lepidoptera genitalia boasting some impressive looking adornments too.

Basically, if you peruse the literature, and you see the legend "gen. det." associated with a specimen, said specimen has been identified conclusively using genital dissection, and the better quality handbooks on various insect groupings will usually annotate a species entry with "gen. det. required" if said dissection is the only way to identify the species in question properly.

A similar situation applies to spiders - the usual method of choice is examination of the morphology of the male palp (used in reproduction) or the female epigyne. Which is one of the reasons why spiders tend to be a specialised field of study, especially in locations where the fauna has dozens, if not hundreds, of similar looking species that can only be separated out by such methods. Modern arachnology has now reached the point where descriptions of newly discovered species are accompanied by scanning electron micrographs of the parts in question - I suspect the typical amateur naturalist won't have access to this level of sophistication, but it's an indication of the level of precision that now applies in invertebrate zoology. Indeed, some researchers are looking into the possibility of CT scanning temporarily anaesthetised insects, so that a 3D model of the genitalia can be obtained without requiring the specimen to be dead. The vision for the future in entomology and other branches of invertebrate zoology, is to have a portable piece of kit to perform this operation in the field - our very own version of the Star Trek tricorder - but that's a long way off becoming reality at the moment, and current CT scanners tend not to be cheap. You're looking at about £10 million for a good quality one at the moment, and that buys you about 40 tons of hardware - only "portable" if you mount it inside a decent sized ship. :)

Basically, point your friends from that FB group at this post, and this should alert them to the fun and games that await them in the world of insect identification.



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on September 01, 2018, 05:04:16 PM
Quote
Birdy, if you're in touch with people seeking IDs for insects in North America, then this website is a valuable resource to share with those people. Covers all insect Orders with distribution maps where the data is known.
Quote

I have actually referred people on the Birds, Blooms, etc. site to BugGuide.net, which I've used for a few of my own photos.  I don't want to overburden the site, so I usually try to find the answer myself before (so to speak) bugging them - mostly by googling the type of bug I think it might be, e.g. "hoverflies images."  I come up with quite a few hits that way, though it takes patience to go through all the pictures, constantly switching back and forth between my picture and the googled images. I've used the Facebook Dragonflies and Damselflies - Worldwide Odonata site too, though mostly I just use that to look at all the beautiful specimens from all over the world - visual candy.

I do the same with wildflowers - check my field guides, then use a general term when my picture looks as though it might be related, and go through some of the Wikipedia "related species."  It can be tedious, especially since I'm operating from a background of vast ignorance.  But it's very satisfying when I actually find something that matches up with my mystery photo - though since, as you say, there are so many close resemblances.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on September 18, 2018, 08:38:28 PM
Hello birdy 😀

That's one of the advantages of having become familiar with taxonomy. I'm able to home in on likely Family ID pretty quickly, and frequently home in on Genus quickly as well in the case of familiar taxonomic groups. I recently had a butterfly photo handed to me, which I was told was taken in Peru, and the photographer thought he'd encountered a Swallowtail of some sort, because the bindings had tails. However, no Swallowtail I have seen in the literature has a wing pattern remotely like his photo, and other morphological details told me it was actually a member of the Nymphalidae, the Family containing Commas, Red Admirals and the like. Sure enough, I homed in on it in due course - it was Marpesia crethon, a known member of the Peruvian fauna, and one of the Daggerwings, which do indeed resemble Swallowtails. You can see a decent quality image of this species here (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marpesia_crethon).


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on September 18, 2018, 11:30:33 PM
Here's a Peruvian cracker - in more ways than one!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: yelnats on September 19, 2018, 07:52:23 AM
Kookaburras...

Valerie's
Quote
Here's my avatar, the laughing kookaburra, and his mate.

And here is a link that explains the reason that kookaburras raise two young whereas they lay 3 eggs.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/10/14/2712935.htm (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/10/14/2712935.htm)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on September 21, 2018, 08:41:33 AM
Here's a Peruvian cracker - in more ways than one!

That's Hamadryas velutina. An especially resplendent member of the Genus.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on September 21, 2018, 06:50:38 PM
Aka the velutina cracker - I knew you’d recognize it, Calilasseia, and probably be the only one to understand my comment. This one was photographed 150 feet up a kapok tree in Peru.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on September 25, 2018, 02:43:27 PM
Thank you, Calilasseia - I've added all those sites to my bookmarks.  I was surprised to see that a friend was connected to the moth site - he wrote the Recent Developments and Website Update on the menu page.  I know him as a fellow birder in my local park, with an interest in insects, but I didn't know he was so involved with moths.  The things we learn on this site...

I'm a dilettante, so I probably won't get that deep into entomology, but I do make at least an effort to label my photos correctly, mostly because I hate passing on misinformation. Luckily, since I probably won't see anything rare or unusual, I can often make a pretty good guess when I go through photos I've found through Googling.  And when I can't, I try asking BugGuide.net. 

I've learned a few of the most common wasps in my area - or at least I now have my own "field guide" of descriptions and pictures.  It was started by a naturalist friend, and I've added to it, so I can go back and refer to it when I try to label my photos.  For bees, I mostly say bumblebee or honeybee.  I label hoverflies as a group, not to the species or even genus level. But with 870 species in North America, I know they're beyond me. I've learned a few of the common odonates and lepidoptera because I have a friend who moved on from birding to that hobby, though I still have to look them up when I start labeling.  But as I say, I'm strictly a dilettante.

But truthfully, I doubt that most of my friends even care - they're more at the level of "that's a pretty bird" or "that flower is a rose or something else."



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on September 25, 2018, 02:44:35 PM
Pat, that's a beautiful butterfly.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 24, 2019, 01:30:04 PM
Someone remind me to post the lasted photos from my travels when I've had a good night's sleep. Only I have some fun new ones, including the squirrels, and two new moth species added to my lifetime tally. :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 24, 2019, 04:33:24 PM
Looking forward to seeing them, Calilasseia.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Valerie on February 24, 2019, 05:38:27 PM
Gosh yes, me too.  Can't wait.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:06:13 AM
OK, here we go. First off, the first Germander Speedwell flower of the year in my locality ... this doesn't usually start flowering until the 2nd week of April where I live, but we've been having unusually warm weather this February, and so they've popped out now ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:07:17 AM
Next up, the cute squirrel I promised :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:09:11 AM
Pied Wagtail I saw while out shopping about an hour ago ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:11:17 AM
From a moth trapping session last week ...Red-Green Carpet ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:13:24 AM
And last night, I took part in another moth trapping session, and had some interesting species turn up ... here's a nice specimen of Hebrew Character ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:14:45 AM
Nice specimen of The Satellite from the same trapping session ... the two tiny dots next to the larger spot provide the reason for the name of this species, as they resemble tiny moons orbiting a planet :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:16:37 AM
That moth trapping session the previous night also provided me with no less than two lifetime firsts ... this is one of them, Dotted Border ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 25, 2019, 01:18:18 AM
Next, the second of my lifetime firsts from the trapping session last night ... say hello to this little beauty! Which is aptly named Oak Beauty ... seen here posing for the camera on my fingers!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 25, 2019, 03:19:19 PM
One of my favorite activities when I'm on a birding trip is seeing the moths that are attracted overnight to a white canvas with a light.  There's so much life in the world that we never see - and I'm not even including the microscopic ones - just because we are basically diurnal.  I was the only one who took advantage of the opportunity on last November's Costa Rica trip (Pat, you probably know the location - Rancho Naturalista) - what a variety the guide and I saw.  My pictures weren't that great, since it was pretty low light and I don't have a steady hand, and of course I didn't have much luck IDing them, especially the carpet moths.

How do you get them to sit on your finger?  Was it cool enough that they were enjoying the body heat?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on February 25, 2019, 07:39:13 PM
I do indeed know Rancho Naturalista, Birdy. I stayed there during my first visit to Costa Rica about 10 years ago although I don't remember there being a moth trap back then. My best experience of moths and other nocturnal insects was at the Owlet Lodge in northern Peru last year, which I think I mentioned previously in this thread.

I did go on a nocturnal expedition in Costa Rica and was rewarded with this red-eyed tree-frog.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on February 26, 2019, 12:54:30 PM
One of my favorite activities when I'm on a birding trip is seeing the moths that are attracted overnight to a white canvas with a light.  There's so much life in the world that we never see - and I'm not even including the microscopic ones - just because we are basically diurnal.  I was the only one who took advantage of the opportunity on last November's Costa Rica trip (Pat, you probably know the location - Rancho Naturalista) - what a variety the guide and I saw.  My pictures weren't that great, since it was pretty low light and I don't have a steady hand, and of course I didn't have much luck IDing them, especially the carpet moths.

How do you get them to sit on your finger?  Was it cool enough that they were enjoying the body heat?

Basically, the setup was effectively as you describe above ... white sheet on the ground, MV lamp above it on a tripod powered by a generator. Soon brings the moths in.

In the case of some of the moths, once they settle, they're tame enough to coax onto your fingers for a photo shoot. Others (Large Yellow Underwings spring to mind) behave more like kittens on catnip chasing wind up toys. :D

Though Large Yellow Underwings are among the exceptions when covering the Noctuids. Most of the Noctuids, once they've got over the initial shock of bumping into an MV lamp, settle down pretty quickly and become quite tame. On the other hand, the Oak Beauty surprised me a bit, because several Geometrids are a bit skittish, and this one wasn't. However, the one species that is an utter pain to capture on film is one of the day-flying moths - Hummingbird Hawk-Moth. That one is relentlessly active on a good sunny day, and even if you have a large Honeysuckle bush to tempt it to stay in one place, it darts from flower to flower like a racing drone on acid.



Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on February 26, 2019, 05:13:40 PM
I think what you are trying to say is that the hummingbird hawk-moth is as flittery as the hummingbird!  I know - I've never got a good picture of one.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:25:04 AM
Meanwhile, some new pics ...

First, Comma butterfly ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:26:01 AM
Next, male Brimstone butterfly ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:27:18 AM

Next, mating pair of 14-Spot Ladybirds running about on my hand :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:29:09 AM

Next, Palomena prasina, Green Shield Bug ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:30:40 AM

Next, how's this for a tiny weevil? Tentatively identified as Dorytomus tortrix. Specimen is just 2.5 mm long.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:32:06 AM

Next, Coreus marginatus, or Dock Bug ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:33:36 AM

Next, a new species to add to my tally for the cycle track! Say hello to Corizus hyoscyami ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:35:02 AM

Next, one of my moth trapping finds, in the form of Pine Beauty ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:36:03 AM

And this one is a lifetime first ... Waved Umber ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:37:16 AM

An oddity at the moth trap, in the form of an unidentified Brown Lacewing ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on April 22, 2019, 09:39:19 AM

And this tiny moth (just 4 mm long) is awaiting ID, but I'm already being told that it's possibly the wonderfully named Dyseriocrania subpurpurella ... doesn't this one have a really cute face?  :D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on April 22, 2019, 10:10:17 AM
Excellent!

Who needs David Attenborough?


(Only joking, of course;
the world needs him and people like him - and Calilasseia;
every cloth-eared climate-change denier should be locked in a room and forced to watch Sir D's latest documentary 'Climate Change - the Facts' until the penny drops.)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on April 22, 2019, 02:41:07 PM
Great pictures, Calilasseia.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anona on April 22, 2019, 04:52:40 PM
"every cloth-eared climate-change denier" ...

Anyone particular in mind, Mike? Perhaps no need to answer that.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Ozzyjack on April 22, 2019, 05:07:48 PM
I am not sure if Mike is familiar with Australian politics but if he is, he would have fertile fields to pick from here.  In particular an ex Prime Minister known for his budgie smugglers; and an ex Deputy Prime Minister nicknamed Beetrooter, partly because of his florid complexion and other activities I am to delicate to mention; and a wannabe but failed-to-become Prime Minister lovingly (not) nicknamed potato head.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on April 22, 2019, 07:53:22 PM
When birds are a bit sparse on my birding trips I like to turn my camera onto insects, especially butterflies and dragonflies. I believe this one, in Malaysia, is called a yellow-barred flutterer. A gorgeous creature.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Valerie on April 22, 2019, 08:56:27 PM
Fabulous photographs, Calilasseia and Pat.  Beautiful critters.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 15, 2019, 03:16:24 PM
Latest butterfly: Green Hairstreak, Callophrys rubi ... and yes, it's posing for a photo whilst resting on my finger :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 15, 2019, 03:17:14 PM
Another specimen of Green Hairstreak ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 15, 2019, 03:17:55 PM
... and the extreme close up ... :)


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 15, 2019, 03:18:36 PM
Second specimen sitting on my finger ...


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: anona on May 16, 2019, 12:53:41 AM
Gorgeous colours!


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on May 16, 2019, 03:04:31 AM
My garden in Thailand is full of wonderful butterflies most of the year round;
what I want to know is how to get them to come and sit on your finger?
Believe me, I've tried many times. They just don't want to know.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: birdy on May 16, 2019, 06:37:56 AM
Beautiful little butterfly. And great photos.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 16, 2019, 09:37:11 AM
My garden in Thailand is full of wonderful butterflies most of the year round;
what I want to know is how to get them to come and sit on your finger?
Believe me, I've tried many times. They just don't want to know.

In the case of your species in Thailand, you may find that dipping your finger in salt water makes them more receptive. There's a reason for this.

Basically, many tropical butterflies seek salt sources to tap into, because they live in environments where salt is relatively scarce, and doesn't migrate up their part of the food web in sufficient quantities to keep them osmotically balanced if they don't seek additional sources thereof. One major source of salt for such butterflies, is the urine of various large mammals. Whenever a large mammal urinates on the ground, butterflies of numerous species flock to the spot, and drink the urine to obtain salt.

As a corollary, if you dip your finger in salt water, you'll find that a good many tropical butterflies will happily sit on your finger drinking the salt water from your finger, and you can take photos of them while they're doing this. Of course, you need to exercise a certain gentle touch coaxing them to climb on to your finger in the first place, but the moment they sense the presence of salt on your finger, they'll become much easier to persuade in this regard.

This tip should work for butterflies right across the tropics.

Best time to try this is early in the morning, before the sun has warmed them up properly, and they're still relatively docile. Try this on a hot afternoon when they're active, and you'll simply experience more frustration, unless they're really desperate for the salt.

In the case of my Green Hairstreaks, they were still docile because they hadn't warmed up properly, and were willing to climb onto my finger until the sun had warmed them up. Once they were warmed up, however, it was "Game Over". :D


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: mkenuk on May 16, 2019, 10:58:51 AM
Thanks for the tips, especially the ones about the best time of day to attract them.
We have three dogs, and they have the freedom of the garden, so no shortage of urine.
Salt water. Thais don't use very much salt; they use fish-sauce instead. It's incredibly salty. I wonder if that will work?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 23, 2019, 04:10:57 AM
Question for Calilasseia:

I photographed this insect yesterday (UK). It was only when I viewed it on the computer that I noticed the cocoon full of grubs below. Is the insect preying on the grubs, caring for the grubs, or is it simply a coincidence?


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: Calilasseia on May 31, 2019, 06:48:53 AM
That's almost certainly a mere coincidental pairing. The larvae look as if they're moth larvae of some sort, and the large black insect is a Tipulid crane fly. Crane flies are short lived as adults, and many do not feed at all in the adult stage. Furthermore, crane fly larvae are rather diverse - some are terrestrial (known as "leatherjackets", and eaten by insectivorous birds), while others are aquatic, the aquatic larvae being found in fresh water, brackish and even some fully marine habitats. The terrestrial larvae are usually feeders upon various plant roots, and some species can become agricultural pests because of this behaviour. Aquatic larvae will feed upon pond bottom detritus, aquatic plants, and a few have transitioned to become carnivorous, feeding upon Daphnia and copepods among other organisms. None of the crane flies exhibit parasitism during any part of their life cycles, so those larvae in your photo are perfectly safe.

Your photo also shows in excellent detail, a feature common to all Diptera - the halteres. These are modifications of the second pair of wings, and in your photo appear as those glass-like strands ending in a blob. These are balancing organs used for orienting the insect in flight. All Diptera have halteres, but these organs are more conspicuous in some flies than others, and are particularly noticeable in those flies whose halteres bear bright colouration. For example, there's a truly enormous (by the usual standards of the Family) Genus of flies living in Panama, the Genus Pantophthalmus, whose adults resemble super-sized bluebottles, and which have halteres that look as if they've been formed from extruded cornflower blue plastic! Here's a photo of one of these large flies (https://www.flickr.com/photos/artour_a/2075364596), and you can see the blue blobs in that photo - these are the halteres.

Meanwhile, back to the crane flies. There are, wait for it, fifteen thousand species of these worldwide. The UK fauna contains approximately 300 species, but only a minority of these can be identified to species level visually - the remainder are usually dissection jobs. One of the easiest to identify is Tipula maxima, courtesy of the fact that it's almost twice the size of any other UK species, and has patterned wings to accompany its large size. Your specimen looks superficially as if it could be one of the Phantom Craneflies of the Genus Ptychoptera, in particular Ptychoptera albimana, but dissection of the specimen would be needed to be absolutely sure.


Title: Re: Nature pics
Post by: pat on May 31, 2019, 07:07:13 PM
Thanks, C. There's certainly an amazing variety of insect life on the planet. I sometimes take two cameras with me when I go to my local nature reserve, one with a zoom lens and the other with a macro lens. Looking down into the undergrowth for insects and spiders to photograph, rather than skywards for birds when the latter are a bit sparse, reveals many varieties of flies and beetles that I, and probably most people, wouldn't even notice unless looking for them. Fascinating creatures.