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Friday, 27 June 2014

National Insect week

As it is National Insect week and it is not the best of days as far as the weather is concerned, I thought I would put together some of the insect photos I have taken at Charlecote Park and Upton House to share with you. Hope you like them.

      Have you noticed how many butterflies are amongst the flowers right now?

                                The Peacock and the Tortoiseshell Butterflies.

 There are loads around fluttering everywhere between the flowers. I always think it is strange how butterflies just suddenly appear. It is like one day you do not see any and then the next they are everywhere. I think I will set myself a challenge to see how many different ones I can find.

                                         Brimstone from earlier this year.

                                     The ladybird, every child's favourite bug.

 Bees are amazing creatures but people react in different ways to them, some run but others get closer and closer to watch them at work. They are quite fascinating to watch.

Charlecotes Honey Bees are always busy and we thank them very much for their lovely honey :)

Upton's honey bees also very busy.

Earlier this year amongst the fruit blossom.

Dragonflies and Damselflies many people mix up, myself included so I did a little research. Both Dragonflies and Damselflies belong to the same family of the 'Order Odonates' and all Odonates share similar characteristics between them which includes their membranous wings, their skinny bodies, small antennae and their big eyes. By the way the word 'Odonates' means 'toothed jaws' 
When you put the two together it is very easy to see the difference.

The Damselfly.

                                                          A Dragonfly

A Dragonfly's eyes nearly touch each other and are at the top of the head unlike the Damselfly whose eyes are separate and more at the side of their head. The Dragonflies body is not as slender as the Damselfly. Other differences are in the way the wings open as you can see in the photos. There are a few other differences but they are the main ones you can see.

The Damselflies like the Dragonflies come in many splendid colours. You can not miss the Damselflies at Charlecote Park at the moment as there are many all along the river, fluttering from one place to another.

Just a little interesting information I found while researching these insects. Do you know that fossils have been found of Dragonflies which have been dated as being over 285 million years old. Other fossils have also been found of creatures very much like the Dragonfly dating back to over 300 million years ago. That is before Dinosaurs roamed the Earth. I think that is amazing.

                       The colours are so rich. the Damselflies almost look metallic.

 I was told that these beautiful insects only live for a day so I looked in to this and found it not to be true. A Dragonfly's life-cycle from egg to death is normally around 6 months (4 months in flying stage) but there are some larger varieties that have been known to live up to around 7 years. In Britain they seem to die earlier through accidents, predators and bad weather. On average it is said they live only around 2 months in the flying stage.
Damselflies don't last long at all, maybe only 2 weeks but both spend longer under water as larva.

                                         I caught a mating pair yesterday.

 I have some spider photos too but as My Mother reads my blogs, I will not be adding them, sorry. I am sure I have some more insect photos which I will probably find once I  have posted this blog but that is the way things go. I have now set myself two challenges. The first, finding as many different butterflies as I can, the second, I must take my hubby's macro rings with me so that I can get some really detailed close up images of these amazing insects.

           Thanks for reading my blog, here is a link to the National insect week site.


                             Photos copyright Jana Eastwood

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