Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata)

Saw this Longhorn beetle in our patch of Ninewells wood today. It was the first time I have seen this species there.

They are not that rare but are only around for  few weeks of the year.They can be up to 4 years as a grub living on rotten wood. Then when they hatch in June they are only around for 2 to 4 weeks.

They are quite big, up to 20 mm, I would say this was about 15 mm long. Also the pattern of the dark brown /black marks on their backs does vary quite a lot. Sometimes more banded other times more spotted. This one is sort of intermediate.

I notice there is a small drop of liquid on the leaf just behind the back end of the beetle. It had not been raining so I wonder if this is beetle juice/wee.


Wood Mouse; (Apodemus sylvaticus)

As I said in my last post we do get Wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus)   in the garden sometimes and today he/she made an appearance. Also know as a Field mouse, because they live in the woods and the fields. 

It might have been better to call them the country mouse as opposed to the town mouse. These little chaps are not the ones you get in the house. These live outside, they have bigger eyes and bigger ears and they are delightful.

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Vole….. Bank?

We get several rodents visiting our garden to pick up food from the bird feeder. Rats occasionally, Squirrels quite often but also mice and voles. The mice are Wood mice, very attractive with big eyes and large ears.

This is a vole, blunt nose, little eyes and little ears. There are two voles you might see in your garden, a Bank vole and Field vole. I think this is a Bank Vole. They tend to be more brown colour and have a neater appearance whereas Field voles are more grey and scruffier.

Any experts out there want to offer an opinion? Here are two more photos, it obviously prefers the sun flower seeds.

Honey Bee

105 mm Sigma macro with 36 mm extension tube. I was trying to get some of them in flight but unless they are in exactly the right spot then they are out of focus. I will take another 500 shots to hopefully get one which is as neat as this one when it was not on the move.

Waterfalls… ‘photographs not snaps’

Had an excellent day yesterday  photographing waterfalls with a small group from the Forest of Dean Camera club. The day was led by Oliver Herbold who was assisted by Marta. It was a long day and a huge amount of effort was put into getting us to produce ‘photographs and not snaps’.





I have processed one set of 9 photos  to produce this one below. I have not done it in the same way as Oliver explained for two reasons. One is that I do not have the same software as he was using and secondly I struggle to understand some of the techniques he employed.

However I am reasonably pleased with it ….. looks a bit too hazy for my liking. More practice can only improve things. If you would like to see what can be achieved then have a look at Oliver’s web site and you will see that his waterfall photos have somewhat more punch than mine!!!