Over the winter months you get out of the habit of looking at insects,flowers etc, soon forgetting what you have learned over the summer months.
Moving into Spring hopefully as nature wakes up there will be plenty of old and new things to discover.
Ideas often come to me as my head hits the pillow for the night, my great plan was to look under stones and logs. If the weather was fine, and see what I could find. Reacquaint my self with the natural world (creepy-crawlies)
Under the first stone was a Harvestman .
With a round, compact body and extremely long legs.
Although it looks like a long-legged spider, it isn't one. It is one of the Opilones, a group of arachnids closely related to spiders. Unlike the spiders, it has no silk glands so is not able to spin a web. It does not have fangs and does not produce venom.
It catches its insect prey by using hooks on the ends of its legs. These arachnids defend themselves by secreting a foul-smelling fluid. If they are caught, they are able to shed a leg to escape.(link)
Woodlouse were easy to find amongst the logs in the bug hotel.
Common Shiny Woodlouse
Common rough woodlouse
Woodlice (order Isopoda: suborder Oniscidea) are amongst the most accessible groups of animals to study. However, our present knowledge of the status and distribution of woodlice within Britain remains patchy. Of the 40 species found outdoors in Britain, Common Pygmy Woodlouse Trichoniscus pusillus, Smooth Woodlouse Oniscus asellus and Rough Woodlouse Porcellio scaber, are common just about everywhere. A fourth species Philoscia muscorum is rare in northern Scotland, while a fifth species, the pill-bug Armadillidium vulgare, is only common in the south and east.
If you are interested in these things you must take a look at this (link)
Need to work out if I have Pygmy Woodlouse, as I thought the small ones I saw were just babies
Many Snail shells, some empty and some full.
During the winter garden snails hibernate, often in large groups, under stones and in crevices of trees. They seal themselves into their shells with a layer of mucus which hardens to form a cap.
There are more than 30 different species of slug in the UK, and I am just as bad at trying to I.D these too.
Think these are Grey Field Slugs.
Later in the day a quick trip to the park.
The Squirrels here don't often stay still long enough for a photo, today this chap did.
The next time I moan about not been able to go to some fancy reserve, I need to remember it's all happening in my back yard, lot's to learn and discover.