Now if I could only remember what it was called !




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.




Comments

  1. Fascinating stuff. I agree: This time of year it's such a thrill to rediscover old friends and learn about new treasures in nature. Beautiful images, as always, Amanda.

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    1. Thanks PP,looking forward to finding many new things this year and learning more about the things I already know.
      Amanda xx

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  2. Always amazing what you can find under logs and stones isn't it :-) I had a passion for snails when I was younger and used to keep some as pets in an old fish tank, whilst I even had a pet house spider (even though I have a fear of spiders!) for a while which I kept in another tank. The harvestman is pretty awesome :-)

    Hope you are having a great week and here's hoping for some warmer weather soon :-)

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    1. Thanks David, had not realised we had so many different slugs and woodlouse, will be a challenge to find some more this year. I to remember keeping things as a child, some sadly not fairing to well !!
      Amanda xx

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  3. A lovely post - some great back yard finds and photos!

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    1. Thanks Louise, just wish I new more about the things I find, not many books on Slugs and Woodlouse !
      Amanda xx

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  4. We do have a own mini nature reserves don't we? Very important they are to world life too

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    1. Thanks Sue for popping by, they are very important. Just because they aren't as pretty as a Butterfly or a flower they get over looked a bit.
      Amanda xx

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  5. Terrific photos as always. It sounds like a fascinating thing to do, turn over stones and learn more about the mini beasts! I've got a similar challenge to do, too, this year - there are over 250 types of bee in Britain and I'm determined to know more about them!

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    1. Thanks Wendy, I too would like to know more about Bees, I find them very hard to ID as well as get a good photo.
      Have been getting some new plants in ready for them waking up. My Mason bees might be out by the end of march and there is not one flower ready for them to feed on ! this weekends job is to stock up the front garden.
      Look forward to seeing how many you find, lots of photos please :)
      Amanda xx

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  6. Great idea, the little things do often get overlooked though I know my garden is teeming especially with slugs! x

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    1. Thanks Pam, it's hard to love a slug when they are chopping through your plants..
      Amanda xx

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  7. Great post and photos Amanda and a very timely reminder of what we can find in our own back gardens. I love the way the light highlights the squirrel in your photo :)

    Struggle here with woodlice and slug id - put some woodlice once on i-spot and I had got most of the id's wrong! Hopefully, the milder weather forecast this weekend will arrive and we can trap some moths :)

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    1. Thanks RR, I was lucky the Squirrel stayed for a photo. Getting to grips to what's in the garden before the Garden watch comes up.

      Have put the light out for a few hours tonight, much warmer than last night, but there is a chance of snow so not leaving it out all night. I am so excited for things to kick of with the moth trap. How long have you had your bulbs? does the strength of the light fade the longer you have had them ?
      Amanda xx

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  8. Hello Amanda, great finds and awesome nature images. Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

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    1. Thanks Eilleen, glad you liked the photos.. have a good week.
      Amanda xx

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  9. Not sure if it's just my phone but your pics are coming out elongated? I was thinking same about forgetting the names of insects just yesterday. Roll on spring! Love all your finds xx

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    1. Thanks CT, it might be because I have made the photos very large and they take some time to load. Try it on the computer and let me know if it is the same.

      Have a lot to re-learn this year...
      Amanda xx

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  10. Getting out in the garden again now the weather is better has been great hasn't it? I picked up some pots to sweep up leaves from around and under them and found earth worms, woodlice and slugs. I also found a couple of ladybirds on a tree branch. Your photos are wonderful:)

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    1. Thanks Rosie, have enjoyed been in the garden, nice for you to find some ladybirds and thanks for the kind comments.
      Amanda xx

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  11. Hi Amanda,
    Good to see that you have been keeping busy by looking under logs and stones etc. It's something I do myself in the quieter moths and can be quite rewarding regards finds. That first slug with the stripes suggests to me that it could be a leopard slug, but if it's a youngster, it might well be something different! (Helpful aren't I)

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    1. Thanks JJ for popping by, I did think leopard slug but then Tree Slugs have a strip too !!! and would I have tree slug under a log? Clearly more work has to be done on this subject.
      Amanda xx

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  12. There's always great things to find, if we take time to look!
    Some lovely photo's here Amanda, and the one of the squirrel and how the light shines through the tail is just lovely.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan for the lovely comment....
      Amanda xx

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  13. Eww! Much as I love wildlife I struggle with most creepy-crawlies. The squirrel was gorgeous though! I forget the names of things all the time but was putting it down to age! X

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    1. Thanks Julie, over the last year I have got better at looking at them, not to sure about holding them though ! Things I have learned are stored safely in my head, it's just getting it out that's the problem..
      Amanda xx

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  14. Some beautiful and interesting observations, Amanda. I had a long virus in the early part of the year, keeping me at base, and it's amazing how much you can actually see (once you start to look) just from a house window. There is even more, as you have shown, under logs and in the nooks and crannies.

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    1. Thanks Caroline, I often think I should make more time to just sit and stare at the garden, to see what's going on.
      Amanda xx

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  15. Great post reminding us that the creeepy crawlies dont't all die off in winter but many hibernate. The photo of the squirrel is very lovely with the light behind it, and I love your green man stone! xx

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    1. Thanks Mandy, on a night with a torch there is more out than you think, even when it's cold.
      Amanda xx

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  16. Great post and photos, as always Amanda. I love your little stone house and the shot of the squirrel is fantastic. ;-)

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    1. Thanks Deb, glad you liked the post..
      Amanda xx

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  17. Thank you, Amanda, for your comments on my Scavenger pics ... and also for encouraging me to join iSpot, which I have done.

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    1. Thats OK Caroline, hope you enjoy it as much as I do..
      Amanda xx

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  18. Thank you for your very good site….

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