Stretching on red spindle stems through still sleepy foliage to find the warmth of the vernal sun, this has got to be one of my favourite Spring flowers. The Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa is a splendid sight when its tiny stars form a white carpet on a woodland floor.
The six white petals (technically its sepals) are sometimes streaked with just the slightest hint of purple-pink and can be softly shaded with lavender on the reverse. A delicate blue version Anemone appennina is sometimes grown in gardens and often becomes naturalised which may account for the odd colour variation.
It’s found flowering as early as March, but Spring appears to have been a little late this year so enjoy them while you can. These were photographed at West Woods, near Marlborough, Wiltshire.
Volucella pellucens – female
Here’s a photo of one of our largest flies, the Pellucid or Large Pied-hoverfly Volucella pellucens that I took back on the 8 July 2012 in Marlborough while I was in the middle of a RiverFly survey on the River Og. Pellucid means transparent or translucent and in this instance refers to the ivory-white band across the abdomen, which if caught in the right light enables you to see through its middle. This and the dark spot on each wing makes this species quite easy to identify in the field.
Dorcus parallelipipedus – Male
It’s a funny old business this entomology lark. I came across this large beetle whilst carrying out my monthly Riverfly survey on the River Og in Marlborough. After a bit of research I discovered it was a Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus which is normally found in deciduous woods. It feeds on sap and breeds in rotting stumps, particularly Ash, Beech and Apple. Then a week later I found one walking across my kitchen floor. Well there are no trees in the kitchen but the units themselves are certainly in a state of decay. Shortly they will find themselves in a recycling skip. The time has come to install the new kitchen that has been stacked in the lounge for the past 3 years. Read more