Monday, 2 May 2016

The Lesser Stag Beetle

Hello everyone! It's good to be back again, after spending some quality time with our friends.We had been looking forward to this reunion for years, so even the persistant April showers couldn't dampen our spirits as we showed them the local beauty spots, and some other places of interest. I still have loads of photos to go through, and edit, so it might take me a while before I can start sharing the latest photos, but in the mean time, these are some I had already saved.



The Lesser Stag Beetle     Dorcus  parallelopipedus
 






Despite it's name, neither sex of this beetle has antlers, and resembles the female Stag Beetle.



It is smaller than it's cousin the Stag Beetle, but it is still a relatively large beetle. It has a broad head and can be distinguished from the male Stag Beetle, by it's smaller mandibles and knobbed antennae, and from the female Stag Beetle, by it's all black wing cases, and it can be seen flying strongly in the early evening, often attracted to garden lights.The Lesser Stag Beetle feeds on sap and their larve develope in old tree stumps and other rotting wood, and the beetles can also be found  in the soft decaying wood of broad leaved trees, and in gardens where there are orchards, old hedges and trees.
 

The Adults are from 18, to 32mm. in size, and are similar in appearance to the related antelope beetle (Dorcus parallelus) of North America
If you would like to see a previous post of the Stag Beetle to compare click here 

and if you would like to see more critters from around the globe and join in the fun, just click on the link. SATURDAY'S CRITTERS and my thanks to Eileen for hosting.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Gate Number Seven

This will be my seventh quinta gate for Good Fences, not because I can't find other kinds of gates, but because I like to share all things traditional about Portugal. This entrance gate is of a farm, or large country estate, "that is really what quinta means," and they are found in Portugal and Spain.


The initials A and C are entwined at the top, which is unusual for a quinta gate.
 




I will be taking a break from blogging for a while, as friends of ours are staying with us next month. I'll be back some time in May.
GOOD FENCES My thanks to Theresa for hosting Good Fences. Just click on the link to see more gates railings and fences from around the world.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Juvenile Sqirrels and Jays


I have been seeing quite a number of juvenile squirrels in the garden.

It was surpriseing to see such a tiny squirrel. It is not the same as the one in the above photo.

A mature Jay

All these pictures were a little dark, so I
had to lighten them, especially this one, as the sqirrels head was in the shade.

A cute encounter of two juvies, seen and captured through our pateo doors. This squirrel was a different colour.

Playing  Catch me if you can!

A juvenile looking a little perplexed perhaps!

This box measures 10 x 10 cent, yet this cuttie pie fit comfortably inside

The moment she saw me! Hello Baby!:)

WILD BIRD WEDNESDAYS
SATURDAY'S CRITTERS
I'D RATHER B BIRDIN Many thanks to our gracious hosts Stewart, Eileen, and Anni. Check out their memes, by clicking on these links, and you won't be disapointed.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A Mill House for Good Fences.

When the sun shines, the outdoors becken, and we call our jaunts adventures, which they are in a way, because we never know what we will discover on our travels. It doesn't  need to be anything in particular, although I'm always on the lookout for fences and gates, so I was kind of disapointed when I saw that the fence in front of this little mill house is hardly discernible in my photos, but I'm sharing them anyway for Good Fences
 


Two drive by shots of this little mill house.
 












GOOD FENCESMany thanks to Theresa for hosting,and if you would like to join in the fun, just click on the link Good Fences.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Caterpillar Quandary for Good Fences.


Our Balcony where I found the caterpillar on a potted fern.

I took off a frond to better photograph them.

A closer look at the design. This caterpillar will eventually become a moth.

The moth is a Callopistria Latreillei,  Latriell's Latin Moth. I took my fill of photographs, and...

a view from the balcony.

When it moved underneath to munch away at the tender leaves. I turned the frond upside down.

I eventually relocated it to some other ferns in a sheltered spot, but not on my balcony or garden.

Our back fence covered in Sta Teresa Roses.

A view of our front driveway with the Azáleas in full bloom.
There are thousands of European caterpillars, and I have seen several hundreds of images to look for an ID, but none of them look like this one. I'm hoping that someone might recognize it! My thanks to fellow blogger and good friend Nick Morgan fom Butterfly Pictures, for finding the ID of this pretty caterpiller. The name is Callopistria latreillei Latrielles Latin Moth. Thank you again Nick!:)
GOOD FENCES

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Inauguration


A pair of Blackcaps have taken up residence in my garden, both the female
 

and male are very possessive of this new feeder.
 

especially the female, who is most confrontational with any bird who comes near.
 

There have been a few altercations between the Blackcaps and The Great tits.
 
My daughter Eva gave me this new feeder at Christmas, and I love it but couldn't find a place near enough to the house to hang it, so that I could take photos through the window. In the end I hung it near our fish pond,...where I could still see it, albeit a little far away, and here are some of the captures I took this week.


One Coal Tit with the Great Tit, who seems to be checking out the other birds!:)
 

The Blue Tits just wait patiently until the Blackcaps move away, but they don't linger.
 

There are a pair of Great Tits also in the garden, and I'm hoping to get a shot of them both together one day
 

 

The Coal Tits are often chased away by the Blackcap female, who hides in the vines overhead.
 

The Crested Tits were the first birds to inspect the new feeder.
 

Besides the birds shared here, the Robins and a Long-tailed Tit and Greenfinches have paid visits to the feeder.
 
I am linking this post to the following memes.

WILD BIRD WEDNESDAYS
SATURDAY'S CRITTERS
I'D RATHER B BIRDIN

Thursday, 10 March 2016

At last a Butterfly, and a Gate for Good Fences.


The Comma Nymphalis c-album (Nymphalidae)
 

The sombre underwings are marked with a white comma.like shape.
 

It's one of the most distinctive European butterflies because of the colour and shape of it's wings.
 

It's ragged margins are easily recognizable even in silhouette.  Here are a few of last summers sightings.
 

Flight period is from March -September, in two broods.
 

It is widespread and common, and I love to see it in my garden.
 

Last but not least a gate for Thereas meme Good Fences, with these lovely Trumpet flowers.
 

GOOD FENCES

Friday, 4 March 2016

Garden Flowers and Critters.



It's a long time since I shared a few flowers from the garden, and Camelias are looking pretty just now.


The early Daffodils didn't last long, but I enjoyed their cheerful yellow blooms whilst they lasted.



Another Camelia, .. I  love them, and the garden soil is acidic so they do really well, as do the Azaleas.



This delicate pink Camelia is not in bloom at this time of year, but I wanted to share it with you today.



One last Camelia,

 
This Mole Cricket found in our pool, was recued by hubby, and immediately started to burrow underground. They make extensive tunnel systems that may reach a depth of over a metre
 
The European Mole Cricket,  Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa, the scientific name derives from the latin, "gryllus" meaning cricket, and "talpa" mole, because of it's similarity to the mole both in looks and subterranean habits. It's body is brown, and covered in fine velvity hairs, and the forelegs are modified for digging.
 

We were going down towards our main gate, when we saw this pretty duck sitting by one of our water tanks
 


If you would like to see more critters or birds, click on the links below. My thanks to Stewart, Eileen, and Anni for hosting these wonderful memes. WILD BIRD WEDNESDAYS
SATURDAY'S CRITTERS
I'D RATHER B BIRDIN
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