Monday, 15 August 2011

Hummers and strawberries

I have been reliving childhood summer holidays that were spent on Devon and Cornish beaches. Whereas I then brandished a bucket, spade and small green plastic net at the end of a bamboo cane, I now carry a digital camera and a field guide. As a middle-aged man, and in today's sensitive times, I felt a little awkward entering rock pools that were populated by toddlers, but was able to enlist my youngest daughter to accompany me on my quest for pan-species additions. The rock pools here at Bude are plentiful and seem to me to have plenty to offer the naturalist who's experience in such habitat has, up until now, been restricted to watching Turnstones.

The picture above is of my favourite find of the day, the delightfully named Strawberry Anemone. No doubt if I'd risked drowning as the tide engulfed it, I could have watched the 'tentacles' emerge from the jelly-like body.

Shortly afterwards, this Hummingbird Hawk-moth was seen nectaring on Red Valerian. It was a worn individual, and the photographs were snatched with a compact camera, but these creatures are one of my favourites, so I make no apologies for posting such substandard fayre.

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