As winter’s icy grip weakens, giving in to spring’s inevitable arrival, monsters begin to awaken…some hatch, some crawl out of the ground while others emerge from that rotten tree stump you’ve not got round to moving…one thing’s for sure…they’re coming!
I am of course talking about the multitude of insects that occupy our surroundings – be it your garden, allotment or hedgerow we’re surrounded by tiny little creatures that if you take just a little time to look at you’ll find them to be truly amazing.
I love nature and work as much as I can as a nature photographer when I’m not photographing weddings and portraits. Most people think nature photography means travelling to far flung corners of the world tracking a lesser-spotted-what-do-you-call-it with a daft camera and a tropical disease but it really doesn’t have to be like that.
I specialize in British nature because this country has so very much to offer – such diversity and this myriad of animals, plants and insects can be found readily in your back garden – we have so much that is easily accessible why go anywhere else?
I’ve shared some photographs I took last May in and around where I live in Stanley. I hope you find the beauty in the creatures I do – every one of them amazing in their own right.
The Hover Fly
You will have seen many of these in your garden and probably fallen for its cleaver camouflage. These little flies can often be seen darting between flowers in spring and summer and are deliberately wasp-like to scare off would-be predators. They are however harmless and do a great job pollinating all the flowers in your garden.
The blight of many a keen gardener and vegetable patch, the common garden snail is a regular and common visitor to gardens. These little beasties were actually brought to the UK by the Romans (they were fond of eating them) but as with many other species they made their rather slow escape and made Britain their home.
Found as far away as Africa and Asia, they can suspend themselves in suspended animation for months at a time and if times are really tight…they can even mate with themselves!
Mother of Pearl
These moths are so small you could easily miss them; their wing span is at most just 3.5cm across. Their wings have a beautiful pearlescent sheen to them but given their size you could easily miss them.
Their young eat nettles and defend themselves further by rolling up the leaf they’re eating for further protection.
All of these insects are common sights in the countryside around us and all of them in their own way fascinating and beautiful. Picking just three to talk about was difficult; you could fill this magazine with photographs and text about many of these amazing little creatures – and that’s before we start on birds and mammals!
So when you’re out mowing the lawn, turning the soil or just enjoying a walk in the woods take a little time to look out for some of these amazing creatures; they’re definitely all around you and they might just surprise you too.