Saturday, 4 December 2010

Chickens, spider hunting and ladybirds.

I have been out for much of the day... to the first of a few Christmas events, and an art exhibition opening.
By the time I got home,  the outside temperature was close to 40C and so I went out to check on the chickens... to make sure that they had enough water.  The babies are growing fast.  They can now jump over the barricade at the doorways into the various "rooms" out there....
 ... you can see the fluttering of little black wings as this one managed to get itself over the iron step.
These are looking quite grown up,  but I was mainly pleased to see the distended crops.  They are definitely getting plenty to eat.
I collected four eggs... not usually acceptable for 10 hens, though some of them are getting old and probably don't eat much.

On the way back, I checked on "my" spider...
 ... there are two now.  (You need to look closely.)  And there is a fly (food?) there too.

Here is yet a third (smaller) one that is some distance away, on another parsley flower... they really seem to like parsley plants.

There are literally dozens... or more... of ladybirds as well.  I found one with only four spots as well (no picture of that one) and that made me start to investigate what kinds these might be.
This one is the "normal" kind,  the Common Spotted Ladybird.

Without a picture, I've been looking for the other kind and I think that it might be Coelophora Inaequalis, the Variable Ladybird, of some sort,  though I'll be out there looking for more in future.

The interesting thing about all of the ladybirds was their behaviour.  Parsley flowers have an interesting form, and consist of a series of stalks on a single stalk.
The ladybirds are scurrying up and down each little flower stalk in turn...  running miles in a day,  I should think.

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