Nature Corner - Sponsored by Procreating Orchids

Habbinalan

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Pottering past our pond this afternoon, I saw my first snake of the year - hunting newts. It prompted me to consider broadening the appeal of this little corner of the web. When I saw that the Common Spotted Orchid (that I've been nurturing for a few years) had had at least nine babies, I felt I definitely had to share.

Regulars on the L2 forum or Sheep players might remember that I like to dabble with nature photography and find some interesting places to get my photos. However there's plenty to be seen in our daily wanderings or weekend fixtures if you keep your eyes open. Monday's scorcher play-off final at Hartley Wintney was blessed by a visit from a beautiful Red Kite - rural Hampshire's answer to the hovering drones of Sutton and Yeovil.

I'm particularly lucky in that for over 20 years I've been managing an acre of land that was originally part of our Good Life lifestyle (the wife kept goats) back to wildflower meadows and woodland. The Common Spotted Orchid (last year's pictured below) is a major step forward. I'm just hoping that the Bee Orchids put on a good show again.

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Leo

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#2
Pottering past our pond this afternoon, I saw my first snake of the year - hunting newts. It prompted me to consider broadening the appeal of this little corner of the web. When I saw that the Common Spotted Orchid (that I've been nurturing for a few years) had had at least nine babies, I felt I definitely had to share.

Regulars on the L2 forum or Sheep players might remember that I like to dabble with nature photography and find some interesting places to get my photos. However there's plenty to be seen in our daily wanderings or weekend fixtures if you keep your eyes open. Monday's scorcher play-off final at Hartley Wintney was blessed by a visit from a beautiful Red Kite - rural Hampshire's answer to the hovering drones of Sutton and Yeovil.

I'm particularly lucky in that for over 20 years I've been managing an acre of land that was originally part of our Good Life lifestyle (the wife kept goats) back to wildflower meadows and woodland. The Common Spotted Orchid (last year's pictured below) is a major step forward. I'm just hoping that the Bee Orchids put on a good show again.

View attachment 8315
I applaud your enthusiasm for nature (both plant animal form) H and you have posted some great info and photos. But the hair stood up on my arms and the back of my neck when I read the first sentence of your post here. We've spoken about these creatures before but I still shudder at the thought of them.
 

SALTIRE

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We've always been big on nature, but since our move to Arbroath we now have a back and front garden full of plants and a big tree at one of our neighbours where robins and the wee tiny birds gather (they do make one hell of a racket right next to my bedroom window in the morning mind!), and we've been enjoying watching the flowers and plants grow as the spring has finally got going, and seeing the bees come out to pollinate in front of us. We have this huge tree at our front thats sprouted white petals like some sort of blossom and its really rather beautiful.

We also go down to the cliffs here and get the gulls mooching fish suppers, but they are endlessly fascinating to watch, and the little oyster-catchers darting around looking for any little scraps too.

Really thinking about getting a good camera to start capturing some of this.

Also Habb, any tips on keeping orchids? We bought a purple one at Markies when we moved and it flowered well, but only now is it starting to bud again, and we fear we may be doing something wrong, but it gets fed and watered weekly, and gets plenty of sun. Any tips would be appreciated!
 

Habbinalan

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We've always been big on nature,.......

Also Habb, any tips on keeping orchids? We bought a purple one at Markies when we moved and it flowered well, but only now is it starting to bud again, and we fear we may be doing something wrong, but it gets fed and watered weekly, and gets plenty of sun. Any tips would be appreciated!
I'm afraid I haven't much of a clue. The only house plants that I can keep alive are cactuses.

Putting on my expert's hat (I used to be an agronomist for a few years last century) it's usually either too much or too little water or perhaps too much or too little sun.

If in doubt, I usually head for the RHS web site.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=333
 

PuB

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Orchids really don't need too much direct sunlight (a north facing windowsill would be ideal), I tend to find they do much better in the bathroom as they enjoy the humidity and warmth too.

On a nature note we've had a pheasant in our garden a few times over the last month or so, swallows, cuckoos and a resident woodpecker amongst others. It's really great to see them this time of year especially after quite a harsh winter.
 
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I do street photography rather than wildlife but I did get this NSFW picture of some dragonflies SHAGGING a few years ago.

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Habbinalan

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I do street photography rather than wildlife but I did get this NSFW picture of some dragonflies SHAGGING a few years ago.

View attachment 8337
Nice one.

Even better news, they're not common or garden dragonflies, they're damsel flies. I don't recognise the species though.
 

Habbinalan

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Me neither, Alan.

If it helps you narrow it down any, it was in Yangshuo, China.
I've had a fascinating 10 minutes perusing pics of damselflies from the Orient but no luck.

However, I have contacts and have asked the question.

Interesting side fact - they keep on finding new dragonfly species, which then need new names. One of the ones I tripped over (from Africa) was a Robust Sparklewing that they called the Umma Gumma, after the album which sits on my shelf.

sn-dragonflies.jpg


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I've had a fascinating 10 minutes perusing pics of damselflies from the Orient but no luck.

However, I have contacts and have asked the question.

Interesting side fact - they keep on finding new dragonfly species, which then need new names. One of the ones I tripped over (from Africa) was a Robust Sparklewing that they called the Umma Gumma, after the album which sits on my shelf.

View attachment 8340

View attachment 8341
That Pink Floyd record cover is fantastic.
 

SALTIRE

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Very nice photo's. Not frightened of creepy crawlies then! I had to get rid of a spider the other night crawling along my walls that was nearly as big as my hand! Never had to deal with something that big in a flat, but now we are on the ground I can see more of these behemoths having to be dealt with!
 

Leo

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Very nice photo's. Not frightened of creepy crawlies then! I had to get rid of a spider the other night crawling along my walls that was nearly as big as my hand! Never had to deal with something that big in a flat, but now we are on the ground I can see more of these behemoths having to be dealt with!
must have been some size Salty cos, for some reason, I have this vision of you having mits like shovels mate....haha.
 

Habbinalan

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A few years ago, my sister sent us some port and cheese in a box for Christmas. A couple of years ago, I found the wooden box in the garage and, instead of chucking it out, I knocked a couple of holes in it and stuck it up on the front of our garden shed. Nothing happened last year but it has now weathered in and this spring Blue Tits have taken up residence.


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Vanni

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Some really good interesting pics on this thread. I need to get myself a decent camera and not make do with the crappy one on my smartphone.

Snakes are wonderful creatures me thinks, and spiders more so, in fact whenever I come across a spider I'm repeatedly told to get a move on by whoever I'm with at that time. I'm absolutely fascinated by the little buggers.

While I'm comfortable with snakes/other reptiles and creepy crawlies, there is one creature I'd rather not come across one (or more ;)) And that is that gecko one finds in Ibiza and other MedIiterrean countries, and in North Africa too I believe. You probably know the one I'm referring to - the pale looking one with the transparent whitish underbelly. If I'm not mistaken this ugly looking gecko is known as the Turkish lizard. Otoh, I'm okay with the colourful geckos one usually encounters in Asia, esp. in many a rented dig in Thailand.
 

Habbinalan

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Some really good interesting pics on this thread. I need to get myself a decent camera and not make do with the crappy one on my smartphone.

Snakes are wonderful creatures me thinks, and spiders more so, in fact whenever I come across a spider I'm repeatedly told to get a move on by whoever I'm with at that time. I'm absolutely fascinated by the little buggers...............

Got some nice Raft Spiders down the pond for you.

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