Monday, 19 October 2015

Odds and Ends

Having not taken many pictures during the last few days - there are only so many views of autumn foliage that anyone can take - I thought I would clear up a few odds and ends from previous walks. Starting with that other indicator of Autumn, the Holly. Perhaps more suited to a Christmas theme, the dark green leaves and bright red berries are looking great right now.
It looks as if it has been a good year for this particular Holly bush. Berries cling to the branches all over it, waiting to provide handsomely for all those hungry birds. Lets hope it's not an indication of a bad winter to come.
Secondly, a creature with a face 'only a mother could love'. Commonly called a Harvestman or sometimes Daddy-long-legs (not to be confused with the Craneflies), this long-legged little arachnid becomes rather abundant at this time of year. This one was sunbathing on our wall a few days ago.
There are over 6,500 species of Harvestmen or Opiliones to give them their proper name and is difficult to identify them with certainty. When viewed close-up, they are the stuff of nightmares.
Another rather odd-looking creature was seen on our patio doors some time back. This is a Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis).
Its strange mouth parts are perfectly evolved for scavenging on dead insects which it frequently steals from Spiders' webs - a seemingly risky strategy, but one which obviously suits it well.
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