In which I take a photo every day that I'm 50, and post it here on this blog, with a bit of related blurb.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Day 220 - Witches Brew

hide and sneak

Late last night, just after blogging, I found this little intruder, in full camouflage, storming the front door!

He seems to have red eyes, but I think that's an artefact of the camera flash...he is a Common Toad (Bufo bufo) and his eyes should be yellow to golden brown.

He's pictured here on the grotty, grimy concrete path that skirts the outside of our house...and isn't he well matched to it?!    I'm not sure if that's sand all over his head, but it's certainly enabled him to hide on the path very effectively...when I told Anna to come and look, she had no idea what I was gesticulating at, until I got in so close that he realised the game was up, and initiated a hasty retreat.

Little fat, warty thing...brilliant! 

I always used to have a toad living in the garden here, but I hadn't seen one for a few years now.  I'm really pleased that they're still here, although I'm concerned that he's been disturbed by The Cowboy Contractors, as they're now known.

I suppose the pedantic amongst you will be pointing out that these photo's are from last night, not today...well, yes, you're right. 

So continuing our Witches Brew Ingredients theme, here's another member of the creepy crawly genus for your viewing pleasure...

grade f9b+

I think he's just sitting there on this overhung arete (dodgy camera angles notwithstanding) in order to taunt me with his superior climbing skills. 

He's a Giant House Spider (Tegenaria duellica), and is nearly 3 inches from the tip of his highest leg to the tip of his lowest, in this photo. 

He lives in our lounge, normally behind a large wall hanging.  But lately he's built a little web down behind the floor light by the fireplace.  We're happy to have him here, in the hope that he'll take some of the annoying flies we've had in here lately.  

There is at least one beetle hiding away in here too, and sometimes when both the beetle and the spider are out patrolling in the evenings, they almost cross paths...and I find I have a strong sense of morbid curiosity about it...

Will they fight?  Are they competitors rather than predator and prey?  If they do fight, who would win?!   The beetle is chunkier and presumably heavier...but the house spider has good range, good speed and maybe a good bite?

What about Toad vs Spider vs Beetle?!

Hey, at least it's feasible that these creatures could meet up...unlike the usual Tiger vs Shark or Giant snake vs Dinosaur speculative match-ups...

Anyway, my money's on the toad...his weight advantage should outweigh his general blubberiness and lack of weapons.

Though I don't actually want to see them fight...

Why can't they all just get along?

Peace, little dudes!

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