October 2005
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Starting out this month, I noticed this wisp of what at first glance appeared to be smoke, rising above the top of this tree.

On closer inspection it turned out that the "smoke" was actually composed of hundreds of tiny midges which had, for reasons unknown to me, decided to swarm above the tree. you can just make them out as small dots in the photograph on the right.

At the same time as I was photographing the midges in the tree a larger cousin of their's was keeping it eye, or should I say eyes on me.

I say 'eyes' because each eye of this hoverfly is actually made up dozens of individual parts to form what is known as a compound eye.

Here's something for you to think about, does a compound eye give you a compound image? as shown on the right.

While on the subject of flying insects, this time of the year starts to see the reduction in numbers of one of my least favorite insects - The Wasp.

Although at the time I photographed this one foraging around some dead wood, I have to say they are still too common for my liking.

Having registered my distaste for the insect, I must be fair and say that it is also a beneficial insect. It is predatory on other insects and their larvae and therefore helps to control other insect populations (still not keen on them).

Enough of flying creepy crawly's lets turn to the fluffy feathered types:-)

Often overlooked the House Sparrow is one of the common species of bird to be found in the U.K. and Greenheyes is no exception.

The photograph on the right shows a female sparrow on the left and a malesparrow on the right.

Although they are common, at least aroud here their numbers are said by some to be on the decline.

Another common sight around Greenheyes is the Grey Wagtail.

This bird likes streams and fast moving watersides.

This one is pictured down by the water of the river dane.


Also enjoying the waters of ther river was this Moorhen.

It has a very distinct scarlet forehead and yellow beak, a characteristic streak of white along its sides and very noticable white tail plumage, as can be seen on this one swimming away after it was disturbed by my companion on the day "Smidge" the dog (should be known as "Smidge the PEST", when you're trying to take photographs).

Also disturbed by Smidge was this pheasant.

I don't know what concerned it the most the fact the there was a loonatic dog closing on it or that there was a shoot going on on the estate nextdoor.

It did a very good impression of a sensible chicken and flew away from both.

Now this is something you should keep away from.

This is a Death Cap fungi. It is HIGHLY POSIONOUS leave it alone. (Warning: I am not an expert when it comes to fungi. ALWAYS obtain expert advice before you pick and eat ANY fungi that you may find).

The Death Cap causes, first vomiting and then slow failure of the liver and kidneys.

It can be difficult to identify at first as it can have quite a range of colours. One warning sign is that it has a sweet, sickly smell.

As I have mentioned I am not an expert when it comes to fungi, and the name of this bracket fungi is unknown to me. Anyone any ideas?

Finally even this late in the year flowering plants are still to be found as this Himilayan Balsam demonstrates.

If you look closely you can see the seed pod of the plant forming. When brushed against they open explosively, throwing the seeds away from the parent plant.

See you next month.

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