Sunday, August 14, 2016

Introducing the Camdeerhund

When I went to get my washing in one day, I discovered this intriguing creature clinging to my top. Naturally, I raced back inside to get my camera, but before I could take a photo, it relocated-to my face. Ahem. I waited patiently for it to review its surroundings and I'm relieved to report that it saw sense and flew over to my finger instead. 

It was a bit tricky taking the picture with one hand, but we got there in the end. I can't show you the original because that's on my no longer functional laptop, so this photo of a photo will have to suffice. I think it does this bug justice though, showing off its fascinating form.

I have named it a Camdeerhund, because it has a camel's hump, a reindeer's antlers, and cute little legs reminiscent of a Dachshund... A new species, perhaps...?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Code Bee

Out of all the BIPS (Bugs in Peril) I find, the humble bumbles, a.k.a. flying teddy bears, make up a hefty percentage. They just seem to run out of steam, in the most unbumble friendly know... in driveways and in the middle of footpaths. Good grief. And I thought I needed a minder.

I found one in the driveway recently, so I carted the docile fellow into my kitchen for resus. That's not him posing for this photo shoot, btw. There was no time for such indulgences. Things were dire. He wasn't very lively. I wasn't very hopeful that he would ever be lively again. 

It's remarkable what a little sugar can do. I dissolved some sweet stuff in water in a spoon, and bumble got stuck right in. They're so cute, aren't they, with their little built-in straws. In no time at all, he was all sugared up and rearing to go. I could feel the dramatic change in his energy levels vibrating through my hand. He went from a flat line to full throttle in a matter of seconds. Talk about a sugar buzz. 

Only problem was that he got it into his dear little head that the next task on his to do list was to fly up my sleeve. I did say, politely, "No, Mr Bumble! The flowers are not up there!" but he kept trying to burrow his way under my polar fleece regardless.

I think he may have had a little too much sugar... We've all been there... I confess I got a little panicky because I could see that having a bumble bee speeding towards ones elbow might not end well. 

After a stern word or two, I did manage to persuade him to take a moment to reassess his flight plan from the comfort of a small aesthetically pleasing rock, nestled amongst the nasturtiums. Phew. 

As much as I would've liked to have fetched my camera for a recovery picky, I decided it was imperative that my sleeves and I retreat back indoors, just in case he took off in our direction.

The moral of the story? Even bumbles need to watch their sugar intake. And when reviving bees, roll up those sleeves. As if I needed to say that out loud...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

And we're back...

Yes, well, been a while hasn't it. I didn't deliberately abandon my blog, just so you know, my disappearance was the result of an internet connectivity issue. First my computer decided to no longer let me post anything on here (unsupported browser issue, on account of the unsupported operating system issue, on account of the old clunker of a computer issue) and then it wouldn't even let me access the internet. I did try and post from a library, but couldn't get into my account. Tricky. Then I had no flat to live in either and things have been a little topsy turvy since.

Anyhoo, the important thing is that I have just discovered that blogger has a cell phone app, so here I am, again, to continue my obsession with bugs! Yay! Rest assured that I have been busy collecting photos of adorable bugs in the hope that I would get back online again to share them with other insect admirers so expect an avalanche of pictures in the months to follow. Have a few films to woo you with too, including sticks insects in motion.  Memorable stuff.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Aliens in my garden.

This sweet young maiden seems to have some sort of green garden slime on her back. Might be part of her disguise, I guess, helping her to blend in with her photo shoots...

I know this next picture is slightly out of focus, but it intrigues me. With her face and front legs all blurry, I think she almost looks like a member of the Army of the Dead, from the Lord of the Rings. It's possible you may not see what I see, of course...

Another option is that those two dark circles on either side of her middle are in fact eyes, meaning that she isn't a stick insect after all, but an alien creature with no body, a long wispy beard, and a cone head...Surely I'm not alone here...?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nature's precious jewel.

Can't really get much more versatile than water, really. You can drink it, cook with it, wash with it, play in it, generate electricity with it, put out fires with it, make plants grow with it, dance in it (insert raindrops keep falling on my head soundtrack here), use it to get from A to B, either by boat, or hovercraft, or walnut shell, if you are Thumbelina. 

You can probably do many more things with water that my brain hasn't connected the dots with yet. But it is both friend and foe. A giver of life, and a taker. You can drown in it. Even if you are on land. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Floods. Swimming pools. Bathtubs. Puddles.

And you can also die because of what is lurking in it. Whenever I watch those wildlife documentaries, the ones about the lions and zebras and giraffes, I feel an overwhelming urge to go to Africa and build bridges for the wildebeest. So the crocodiles lurking in the rivers can't get them.

But yeah, I know what would happen then...the crocodiles would starve...and the wildebeest population would explode...and then the lion population would blossom too, but then the wildebeest would run out of food, and then the lions would as well, so they'd start eyeing up the elephants instead and...and...and so my meddling would upset the delicate balance of the whole ecosystem...

So I will just have to extend my deepest sympathies to the wildebeesties, and to all of the animals who experience chronic anxiety issues triggered by the very basic need to put their heads down to drink at the local watering hole. Yikes. Imagine that. Having your jugular coveted by creatures in, and out of the water. The perils of being thirsty.

No element of choice involved though. We all need water. Many animals, including humans, die without it. Many die from drinking it as well, because it's contaminated. It might kill you quickly, or slowly, delivering a lethal dose of bacteria, or other scourges like heavy metals, or parasites.

But there's something else important we can do with water--admire it, which is the purpose of this blog post, of course. Oceans are a visual feast, as are many rivers and lakes, the unpolluted ones, at least. And let's not forget waterfalls, rock pools, and rainstorms. Hell, I'm often mesmerised by the ensemble of swirls that congregate in my morning coffee. Bewitching.

But the individual drop is also noteworthy, imo. A delicate jewel. An often mobile one thats whimsical journey has to be captured before it morphs into a different kind of sustenance, like plant food.

Water is, in essence, a magician. It can be a solid, or a liquid, and can make the transition between the two in an instant, like a chameleon. Fluid with fluidity.

It can make a dramatic statement of its power in the form of a mighty glacier, yet still woo us with both the simplicity and complexity of a single snowflake. It can find a path around many obstacles in its way. It can take on any shape, and also shape its surroundings. In seconds, and over centuries. Not only can it descend from the sky above, but it can bubble forth from below the ground too.

It can do other fancy stuff as well, like dissolve solids. Salt. Sugar. Itself in a different form. And it can dissolve and dilute at the same time. It really knows how to multi-task, doesn't it.

Magician, and musician. It can lap playfully, gently, against a rock, or murmur softly as a warm rain. It can  drum roll as a torrential downpour, or thunder over a waterfall.

Water is the quintessential nomad. A traveller that wanders through life weaving in and out of the lives of others. Sheesh. Talk about a mindboggler. Sure makes my water based brain pulse with intrigue. What can't water do? Walk on itself...? Maybe...? Actually, yes, I guess it can, if a snowflake can float before it dissolves... that's water walking on water, isn't it? It is in my book, anyhoo... Holy water, if you ask me...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Christmas buzz.

I was thinking about Santa the other day. Guess a lot of people do, at this time of year. My thoughts weren't full of anticipation of the gift wrapped delights he might bestow upon me this festive season, however. Santa and I are no longer on speaking terms. Irreconcilable differences. Tis safe to say he won't be making his way down my chimney, or back onto my Christmas card list, anytime soon.

Anyhoo, I was thinking about him cos I was wondering if the jolly old chap ever tires of his attire. If he ever craves a makeover. I know his devotees expects him to wear a red and white ensemble, but sometimes it's good to shake things up a bit. To challenge those stereotypes. Besides, not everyone can wear red.

NB, I'm not saying Santa doesn't suit his suit...I would never be so audacious, I'm merely suggesting a change might do him good. It's nice to have options. And I have the perfect alternative outfit for his wardrobe in mind--a bumble bee costume! Imagine that! A stripey Santa! How cute would that bee...

And of course, Donna and Blitzen, and Rudolph and all the other reindeer whose names I can't quite recall at this point in adorable would they look with matching outfits... Their horns could easily be transformed to look like antennae.

The symbolism would be spot on, cos we all know how hardworking bumblebees are, and the reindeer can fly too, in defiance of the laws of physics...and they give children everywhere a Christmas morning buzz...and they probably deliver a fair few teddy bears...

Can you picture it too? Thought so. That's settled then. I shall write Santa another letter, not requesting presents, or complaining about the duds he has dished out in Christmases past, but one with my well thought out makeover plans.

Best if I send it a.s.a.p., as it will probably take a while to stitch those new costumes. Especially the antennae for the reindeers' horns...I'm guessing they will have to be custom made. Of course, the elves will need matching bumble suits too...since they're a hive of activity and all that...

Curiously enough, the politicians in my country reside in a building called The Beehive, but that's where the resemblance to flying balls of cuteness ends...

On the subject of bumbles, I've had to implement rescue plans for quite a lot of them lately. The most dramatic--a bumble was lying on his back waving his little legs about frantically, in the middle of a driveway...the entrance to the supermarket, would you believe. Yikes. There was no time to dither with that intervention. I'm relieved to say that when my finger appeared in his visual field, bumble features latched on without hesitation and was airlifted to the safety of a nearby garden.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bugs in love.

Romance is in the air again, in Stick Insect Metropolis. Don't these two just look like they were made for each other...