Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Met Office gets it wrong .... and right

Another weekend, another crap forecast from the Met Office. Saturday - sun all day, Sunday - cloudy until mid-day. So given that I usually go out for a few hours one morning it had to be Saturday, didn't it? Result - heavy cloud until 2pm. Combine that with a lack of any great interest at the wetlands and you are left with a few snaps of 'the usual'. There seemed to be a good group of bearded tits at one spot, but the bird reserve efforts to keep out the unwashed masses also keep out the birders, so I only ever heard them.
Waking up at 7.45 on Sunday revealed bright sunshine. I decided to leave Kay to a lie in and wander across the road to see if I could find the grasshoppers/crickets that we had consistently heard in the afternoons and evenings.
The hedgerows were pretty attractive in the morning sun. I'll spare you the pictures of berries (they were crap and so dumped), but the umbellifer leaves were a rival to any Japanese maple, a rose gall shone against the sky and the clematis seedheads were lovely. Until I moved down here I didn't know there was a wild British clematis, but it grows everywhere around Crick, with huge 'liana' stems in the trees Tarzan style. Not that I've tried swinging on them. Not yet.
One surprise on the road was a dead snake - too big for the slow worms we've found locally, but too squished and dried to identify.
A leaf caught in a web had a passenger, presumably enjoying the comfortable sofa. Note the leg at the top hooked onto the silk strand to feel for tangled prey.
Then finally some short chirps revealed 1,2 then 3 and finally 4 crickets coming out on the bramble leaves to soak up the sun. Dark bush I think. The females show the scimitar ovipositor, the males have those little residual wings which are what they use to make the chirps, rather than the legs. One of the males had no big hind legs, and at first I wondered if it might be some kind of juvenile form, until I realised it just had no hind legs at all.

So it's a thanks to the Met Office. But sadly for all the wrong reasons.

As always better quality images can be found in the 'latest' web album
by clicking here

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