Saturday 31 January 2015

Shield Stripes

Graphosoma italicum






The Graphosoma italicum is a shield bug. It's bold colours warn of foul taste, and few birds or other predators are likely to try to eat it. It measures 10mm, and can be seen from June-October, usually feeding on Umbellifer flowers. I took these photos in July last year and as you can see, they had laid their eggs on the flowers. There were dozens of these bugs, mostly mateing pairs, in fact I don't ever remember seeing so many.

Thursday 29 January 2015

Fences in the Park

Fisherman by the river.

Ducks usually swim in the river, but on the day I took the photo, there were none in sight.

The café overlooks the river, and when we come here with Mel, we sit here.

A little fence over a pond.

Different side!

A pidgeon looking rather like a wise owl.

I am fascinated by all the fungi on the tree trunks.

Can't think it can be anything else!

And the ferns growing from old misshapen trees

These ferns are growing from the top branches.

The view from the other side of the bridge. You can't see much, but perhaps you can see two metal seats, which are dotted all over the park, and are really appreciated.


Tuesday 27 January 2015

Female Warbler

Female Blackcap

Where the male has a black cap, the female has a red-brown cap, and browner under parts.

A treat to see her at the bird table


Saturday 24 January 2015

Brown Bush Cricket.

The Female Dark  Bush-Cricket   (Pholidoptera  griseoaptera)   

A close.up photo to show the ear which is situated on each face of the front tibiae.

 In most of the photos, I had to lose a little of the long slender antennae, to get a closer picture.

The males have very short wings, but the females are wingless. 

The female has blade-like oviposter, either short, or curved like a sickle, or as in this female, long and

They are mostly nocturnal insects, but this one,was outside in the afternoon, so I know it is a Dark, because they like sun.bathing, but will become most active in the evening, and sing well into the night.

They belong to the same order as the grasshoppers, but unlike the grasshopper, they are partly carnivorous.


Thursday 22 January 2015






Yesterday was a dull day, but it wasn't raining, so not having any posts for Theresa's meme I got in the car and drove around the countryside looking for gates.These are a few of my finds, and it was so much fun. Thank you Theresa for making me take more notice of something I just took for granted.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Shy Sylvia atricapilla

The Male Blackcap   Sylvia atricapilla.






The rain and dull days were brightened when I saw this Blackcap through the window.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Scurrying Spider

This Spider is unknown to me, but because of it's huge size, it could be some kind of Wolf Spider.







Cute little face, don't you think!:)


Thursday 15 January 2015

The Roman Ruins of Monte Padrao

In July of last year we visited the Roman ruins. It's a peaceful place with plenty of wildlife. We went as far as we could by car, until we arrived at the steps. So we started our walk here, and it's quite some distance before we reach the first dig.

The steps are not too steep, but it's quite a climb. Our farm lies further down the mountain, and we have done this walk several times over the years.

The first plateau.

These huge rocks are typical of the landscape.

2nd plateau.

Not too far up the mountain yet.

 I couldn't get enough snaps of the boulders.

As you can see!:)

First sighting of a dig.

Much enlarged snap of our corn fields  through the trees.

At last a view from the top.

That's a church in the distance

Sorry don't know what this is.

This site is classified as a National Monument since 1910. It was excavated for the first time in the 1950's

There have been various settlements here, besides the Romans. Artifacts have been found dating back to the bronze and iron ages, and also the middle ages.

The highest point

Hubby looking very pleased with himself.

There is a small museum further down the mountain, but the most important finds are held in a museum in town.

There are lots of coins from the various occupations...
and items of pottery

I hope this qualifies for a Friday's Fences post, as not having been able to take any photos for at least three months, these are the only ones I can show you. There are a lot of snaps, but I wanted to give you an idea of the views and plateau's on our walk up the mountain, as well as the actual ruins. It would have been impossible to show you more of the ruins, because this post is already too long, so  thank you for bearing with me.
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