I got an early bonus picture, first thing this morning, when I came across this big fella lurking under my desk...
I can't quite ID him, some kind of Ground Beetle...perhaps Carabus problematicus? He was certainly a big bugger, maybe an inch for his abdomen and another half an inch for thorax and head.
In the bottom middle of the photo, you can see a coarse black dog hair...I realise it's not brilliant as a scale reference, but it's all I have - I only got a couple of shots before he caught on to me and went running off behind the bin, never to be seen again.
So far...he's still hiding under there somewhere, with the vole that Loz released under my desk on Sunday...never saw that again, after if went under the desk...that's going to be quite an operation, retrieving the body, if he dies under there somewhere.
Fingers crossed that both of them somehow find an escape route and get back out where they belong.
In the meantime, I'll keep my slippers on - just the other night, Anna was severely mauled by a marauding beetle (not Ringo), which bit her on the foot just because she nearly squished it to death ('scuse the technical jargon...).
This one's a biggie though, he might have your leg off!
Speaking of biggies, I have it on good authority that "that big black crow thing" (one of the ravens) has been mugging the jackdaws that congregate in our gardens around the bird feeders early each morning.
They make a lot of noise, apparently, but I sleep like the dead, so even though this is apparently going on 5m from our open bedroom window, I've not heard a thing.
Still, I'll take the camera upstairs just in case I should happen to waken around dawn...he pins them to the ground and gives them a bit of a beating, so I've been told...
Ok, so it's far from a reliable source, but there would be no reason to just make up a story like that!
I heard the raven cronking in the tree just over the road, earlier this evening...he's got a much deeper cronk than in that recording - I reckon he's a big bugger even amongst his own kind...
Anyway, I thought I might get a better close up:
|no big bugger|
I didn't spot the raven at all, and Anna said it flew off whilst I was nattering to my neighbour Dave.
Encouraging that he's around and about though...I'll keep my ears tuned for his distinctive deep rasp, see if I can't catch him bullying the jackdaws...
I do like him, but not if he's going to be mean!
By incredible coincidence, and entirely a propos of the subject of tonight's blog, Anna just called me upstairs to grab a photo of this amazing little (big!) beauty:
|the queen hornet|
She is a hornet, probably a queen, and was quite simply gigantic. She does look a little like a male, but much bigger than any hornet I've ever seen...the window frame she's clinging to is around an inch wide...she was probably 1.5 inches in length or more.
Hornets are very docile creatures, so there was nothing to be afraid of. She'd somehow found her way on to our landing and was stuck on the windowsill.
After grabbing a few snaps, I ushered her out onto the ivy, where I hope she'll be ok.
We'll know if she comes in the house anyway - their buzz is so low pitched, they're like a big, slow bomber plane, compared to the zippy little jet fighter planes that are wasps. It's like a chinook just flew into the bedroom, when they occasionally find their way through an open bedroom window.
They are several times the size of the common wasp, and they really have a drone to match...as soon as you hear it, you just know it's big.
She has fantastic big brown eyes:
|brown eyed girl|
What a rare, late treat that was!!