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.



Had a good day at Slimbridge, today so here are some of  my photos.


I felt sorry for the everyday birds so I snapped a few of them in order that they did not feel left out and develop a complex.

Flowers from Siberia and Mongolia

I was looking through some old photos looking for pictures of the Siberian forests,  I found a few but I also came across these photos I took of some of the wild flowers….. These were taken with my first digital camera and little point and shoot Olympus.



So why do I need a sophisticated Canon 6D and a 105mm macro lens?

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mmm Sorry I do not have names for them.

Christmas past and present.

Today it was tree decorating day …… the tree this year is one from a batch of Norway Spruce that I purchased earlier in the year. I bought 25 young trees all about 30cm high and planted 24 of them in our wood. Something decided to prune them back for me, probably squirrels but maybe rabbits. They are still alive but not that good a shape. However one I planted in a large pot and it is now about 100cm high. So this is our little tree for this year.

Decorations are quite mixed, we have one string of blue lights but we also have some baubles and decorations dating back to my youth so about 60 years old. Probably the oldest are some plastic snow flakes and a plastic icicle. 

Back in the 1950’s when these were purchased by my Father the plastic stuff was more desirable than the old fashioned glass balls.





We did however have some glass balls and they were kept in little cardboard boxes and some were in egg boxes.   My Father was never that keen on Christmas so that may explain the writing on the box  ‘Xmas Balls’.

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The glass balls were wrapped in newspaper at the end of Christmas and the paper has been used every year since. You can see that this piece dates back to 1960.

The only interesting bit of news on these scraps of old paper is a reference to a footballer, ‘a young England hopeful called Bobby Moore. Also look at the transfer fee of £25,000.

We also have other decorations from the past but some are a bit newer, the newest is the angel which comes from Mozambique and was brought back by Caroline a year ago.







Surrounding the tree are other memories from the past, the little cardboard Christmas tree was made by John when in Infant school and the toilet roll Father Christmases are newer and made by Grandchildren Alex and Freya.

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So there it all is and this is the final creation.

El Rabida

El Rabida is an area just east of Huelva on the Andalucian coast. It is a massive petrochemical complex. On Sunday night I took some photos.


Scary… I was a bit worried about vehicles cruising the perimeter, were they security or police? There were strange noises, lots of hisses as pressure release valves cut in, also a distant train was hooting in a rather eerie way  and occasionally sirens went off.  I was on rough ground outside the perimeter and there were lots of snags and branches and at one point a rat ran past my foot.   Still all in the interests of photography.