Yesterday was a bit of a disappointment in photographic terms. Not as much insect activity as I had expected. Fortunately the light was dreadful. I would have been even more annoyed if the light had been perfect and there was nothing worth photographing.
I did manage a few shots that confirmed we are running ahead of last year. The larvae of Metanastria gemella congregate on tree trunks in the day to avoid predators. Then they forage by night, chomping away at the vegetation ferociously. Last year I first saw them on March 20th. This year they just snuck into February.
Here they are – quite a small gathering compared to others I have seen.
And here’s another go.
So about 3 weeks early.
These I didn’t see last year but they are the eggs of Tessaratoma papillosa, ID courtesy of Ned Liu. And these little tinkers always lay 14 eggs. Isn’t that amazing. Never 13 or 15. Always 14.
The colour is beautiful – such a delicate shade of green. Peppermint. You’d need a lot to make a meal though. They are maybe 1-2mm across.
And after hearing the toads poop pooping outside the house on Wednesday, last night I checked the local pond and sure enough Spring has sprung.
There was some quite vigorous sparring going on amongst the males. Well, boys will be boys. Neither of these two looks particularly happy. I remember in my garden pond in England multiple amplexus was the norm and very noisy it was too. How the frogs and newts ever got to the pond was a mystery to me but I was very happy that they did. The newts in particular were a bonus. As a child we used to find them in the garden and we didn’t even have a pond. Nearby was a quarry with many ponds, fenced off to stop us drowning and my guess is that the newts wandered from there. Since then they seemed to have become more scarce so finding them in my specially created wildlife area was really quite rewarding.
I may venture out again this afternoon. Mr. Audi will return my car in half an hour and I then have a final six hours of time to kill until Mrs. Ha returns from darkest China. And last night was dark. She was, she revealed, in a karaoke bar. I’d rather her than I. She sings rather well. I sing rather loudly. She was with her ‘buddies’ group on a short break to a friend’s house for a house-warming party. Hubbies not invited. Thank goodness. Maybe I shall find more today but the light is again not good. Wish me luck.