Saturday 23 March 2013

No, Really, Where is Spring?

A couple of weeks ago in a post entitled 'Where is Spring' I complained about the lateness of spring and the fact that I'd only seen one insect in my garden this year. Since then things have gone from bad to worse, with cold, windy weather turning into full blown blizzard conditions. I know we've had snow before in late March but I don't recall it being this heavy or long lasting.

The contrast with last year couldn't be greater. Temperatures in the UK in late March last year reached 22 degrees (itself unusual), compared to today's predicted 'high' of 1 or 2 degrees. Not surprisingly, the opportunities to photograph insects and other wildlife last year were significantly greater than this year. Looking back at my images from last year, I had already captured many springtime images in my garden by this point in March:


Mating Common Frogs, photographed last year on 11th March:

Mating Ladybirds on a Daffodil, photographed last year on 11th March:

A Honeybee on flowering red currant blossom, photographed last year on 11th March:

Hawthorn Shieldbug, photographed last year on 9th March:

and finally a Ladybird taking off, photographed last year on 23rd March:

The contrast: my garden this year on March 23rd (iPhone image):

...not a daffodil in sight, no red currant blossom and it's still snowing! It's obviously worrying what effect this weather will have on wildlife. Also, on a purely selfish note, I feel like I've already been robbed of at least 3 weeks of insect photography!! Let's hope we have a mild autumn to compensate.

Saturday 16 March 2013

Winter Macro

Still no sign of insect life this year so here are some images taken in late December. I can pretty much guarantee finding tiny Globular Springtails in my garden in the winter months, normally under rocks or logs. On this occasion I wasn't having much luck finding any until I started turning over some wet leaves on my lawn. I soon realised that practically every leaf had at least one Globular Springtail on the underside of it.

These images show the springtails on the leaves which form quite nice backgrounds I think.


Monday 11 March 2013

Where is Spring?

Well my last post proclaimed that spring is here, or at least the headline of the Wildlife Trust article that used my image did, but there is still no sign of spring at the moment. Today feels like the coldest day of the winter so far with regular snow flurries and a wind that goes straight through you.

Not surprisingly, there are very few signs of spring in my garden. The daffodils have yet to open, the buds on the trees and bushes are still tiny and the only insect that I've seen so far is a solitary ladybird, with the exception of the odd bluebottle seen last week on a slightly warmer day. My images taken at this time last year show honeybees feeding on flowering redcurrant blossom, mating ladybirds and plenty of Green Shieldbugs. I would say we're at least 3 weeks behind last year and may become even more so if the cold weather persists.

Anyway, since I'm chomping at the bit photographically speaking, last week's solitary ladybird did receive a fair bit of attention from me! These are therefore my first insect images of the year.