Hatching time

If you were expecting cute little baby birds, well I am afraid that once again “All Downhill” is going to douse you in disappointment. These eggs are a couple of millimetres across and I suspect they are our old friend, Tessaratoma papillosa. Actually these are our new friends, as they must by definition be first instar.


I think they are quite cute. If a stink bug can be cute.

Now this chap is positively abundant but so bored was I that I agreed to take its picture. It is a cotton bug, Physopelta gutta.  And try putting that through a spell check or auto correct. It seems to be ungoogleable, although listening to the BBC World Service (the planet’s best wireless channel) I learned that in Sweden the local language version, “ogooglebar” has been removed from the list of the top ten new words. As Swedish tends to sound as if you are gargling with a mouth full of marbles I think we might go further and ban the entire language. Indeed any language other than Welsh and perhaps, at a push, English, should be stricken. My sole exposure to the Swedish language has been, if I recall correctly, Bjorn Borg’s Jacques Tati impressions on centre court, 4 happy-go-lucky Elvis-suited, Eurovision stars called ABBA and the chef in The Muppet Show. So I apologise if I offend anybody. Perhaps Swedish is a decent language but speaking it will forever remain, I fear, a minority sport. I digress and at length. Again.

Physopelta gutta

Physopelta gutta

And because I guess that at some stage my old mucker Steve will drop by, I decided I ought to lob in a couple of flowers. This ought to be a Yellow Flag Iris in the vernacular and if it isn’t I’d like to know the reason why.

Iris pseudocorus

Iris pseudocorus

And this is along the lines of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

Alpina hainanensis

Alpina hainanensis

I think it may be a rather lonely Hainan Galangal but I’m not betting my non-existent mortgage on it.

There are a few more shots from the dash between the showers today but frankly if I’m bored with shots of Copera ciliata, then I’m sure you must be too.  And not a baby bird to be seen. But the bugs are rather grand. Well worth going out for. I hope you agree.


16 thoughts on “Hatching time

  1. Bloody hell!! It’s taken 2 hours to get these pictures to download – Shockingly slow Internet here I tell you, shocking. I’m going to work backwards if I may? Georgia O’Keefe would get a run for her money with the last one – that’s a real beaut Andrew. Cramphorns Nurseries would be ‘reet proud to have that in their catalogue I’m sure.

    The Iris is splendid, love the dark background. As is the bug with his fabulous ‘face’ tattooed on his back. And the technicolour darlings in the first picture? – they are just fantastic. Imagine giving birth to the colours Benetton?

    So pleased I’ve been able to leave a comment at last! shame the gins almost run dry.

    • Lanelli 9 – 3 New Zealand …..

      The air was filled with singing and I heard a grown man cry,

      Not because we’d won but because the pubs ran dry.

      Running out of gin is serious Lottie. Can the Red Cross help? Or Gin Drinkers Sans Frontières?

      I suspect you were an innocent victim of the great global internet war that apparently slowed down the entire webby thing. Lets hope for better today 🙂

      • Is that so? It really was incredibly frustrating! NO!! not running out of Gin (though of course that didn’t help matters) but seriously Andrew, it took 2 hours for your pictures to appear – the text was all there but not the pictures.

        I’m having a stab at painting this morning but it’s very humid and the Empress is glowing. That’s the only drawback of the outside/inside living arrangements here – it does get a bit sticky!

        Did you take some pictures of the moon last night? It was so beautiful. I wonder what setting you would use? You probably need a super duper zoom lens as well – if you have any ideas I might give it a whirl tonight. I ended up my evening going for a swim around 12.30am – it was so beautiful as the moon was shining directly above the pool and turned the water a dreamy milky colour – quite amazing.

      • Lottie, it sounds a grand way to finish / start a day. If you want a decent moon shot (not as part of the landscape then you do need a long lens. This was taken at 560mm
        The start of the eclipse

        But I have some taken at 800mm. If you have a small superzoom camera you can try and just play around with settings until you get what you want. You may need to play with the white balance to get something without a colour cast. Good luck!

  2. Hi Andrew, great pics. Hope you enjoyed your conference call. I have to do those quite regularly at present as am working on a project for that great institution the OECD, not.

    • Thanks Rob. The Video link failed (of course) so I ended up doing audio. Less than stellar but I muddled through as usual. My institution is also great but you knew that 😉

  3. Taking a break from mucking about. Seems like a Yellow Flag Iris to me. Like Lottie (yes, I do 🙂 ), my phone screen isn’t allowing full appreciation of the buggies but they both look delightful (yes, Sandra-delightful 🙂 ) to my eyes. I enjoy watching the stinkers go through their larval stages and the variety of colors they present….at least in our green stink bug.
    Quite a nice collection of images for dodging the showers.
    If you want to try something with your iris, use the different channels for selecting just the bloom and see if using a curves layer for one of those selections allows the sort of adjustment you are looking for. Then try inverting the selection to mess with the background.

  4. I must admit that I’m a bit far from finding the bugs cute 😉 but they are very interesting photos, the different colours are amazing.

    The iris photo is a gorgeous shot, love how the yellow blossom works so well with the background.

    • Thanks Sandra. Yes it is curious that they hatch in different colours. I was wondering whether to raise the luminosity on the iris but then you start to lose detail as it bleaches a little. Thanks for the encouragement.

  5. I’m sat on the beach – yes, I know but someone has to do it. Please allow the Empress time till she’s back home, gin in hand and in front of her computer to leave a proper comment. This screen on the phone is far to tiny and I need binoculars to see what your pictures are of. Ttfn 🙂

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