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July in your favourite nature reserve

14-Jul-2020 18:24

The caper plant is full of blooms and bees. It's currently giving up pollen to three types of bee - Honeys, Colette's and Small Carders (yes those tiny black bugs in the photo are bees).

These teeny, tiny Ceratinas - small carder bees - are still to be painted as I've only just learnt about them and am trying to get good reference pics. At only 6mm long this is proving tricky.

The big cool stripey Collete's is featured in my Three Bee Tea print.

Colette and Carder bees in a caper flower
Colette and Carder bees in a caper flower

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A family of Woodchat shrikes has been flitting about. Teaching their young how to hunt on the wing, the adults are gymnasts as they twist and turn to catch flies. They occassionally pick bugs off the front face windows with all the grace and turn-around kick of an olympic swimmer - sometimes quite alarming.

After a hiccup with a montpelier snake (yes that's a sparrow in the mouth of the snake), our sparrow residents are back in force with their young.

montpellier snake catching a sparrow
montpellier snake catching a sparrow
Making unusual friends
Making unusual friends

A pair of magpies have made their home in one of the olive trees and come and sit on donkeys back. I think they're taking her winter coat as nest material, or maybe they're just making friends. She seems to quite like the attention ;-)
(sorry about the quality of the two photos above, they were taken from a distance as video. I thought you'd like to see them though).

Oh, and the orb weaver spiders are early and stringing their huge silvery webs between plants. For an arachnophobe the first morning walk around the reserve is a bit daunting as it's too easy to walk through a web - eek!

orb weaver spider has woven it
orb weaver spider has woven it's web near the earthship

And lastly, but not leastly, we've just been notified that the final paperwork for the new plot of land is ready to collect - it's officially now part of the nature reserve, yey!

Who's an arachnophobe out there? Comment below your worst spider story and if you've managed to beat this phobia and how.





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