September 2009

Today I took the last in a series of pictures portaying the decay of a mouse. A bit of a strange subject maybe, but I think it's pretty interesting to see what happens. I made a special page for all the pictures I took over the course of 50 days, which I placed in the pictures & videos section. It can be found here.

About two weeks ago in the evening we noticed a moth on our window. After a while we noticed it was leaving something on the window. I think it was only the next morning that we realized they were eggs. A very strange place to leave eggs we thought. Today they started to hatch. The first picture below was taken around 9:50 in the morning, the second about three hours later. Like most caterpillars they eat their egg shell first. What these tiny caterpillars did after that I don't know. To reach the nearest plant they'd have quite some distance to walk and even if they got that far, I wonder if they would eat that plant, as most caterpillars usually eat specific plants. They disappeaered, so I guess we'll never know.
I wrote in the last entry of the August diary that the Hop (Humulus lupulus) in our back garden is carrying a lot of hops. The picture I posted with that entry I took in the back of our back garden. The one below was taken there as well, but looking in a slightly different direction. The plant goes around the corner as well, and for quite some meters, carrying hops all along the way. :)
I noticed a second frog in our pond! Not a brown one, but a green one, possibly the Marsh Frog (Pelophylax ridibundus, Meerkikker in Dutch). There are several species of green frogs and I'm no expert in telling them apart. The one in our pond is small and very shy. It's very hard to photograph, much harder than photographing the Common Frog (Rana temporaria, Bruine Kikker in Dutch) that's in our pond at the moment. I'm not completely sure, but I think it's a different one than the one that was in there before (see also the August 1st entry.


I tried again to photograph the green frog today. I wrote yesterday that it's much harder to photograph. That's because it's very much shyer. It jumps away at the slightest sign of movement. The result of todays attempt isn't much, so I'll keep trying...

Finally, success! :)

A couple of days ago I placed a piece of tree trunk in front of the sliding windows on our terrace. I smeared a mixture of sirup, sugar and beer on it, hoping to attract moths. Ideally I should have placed it somewhere dark, like in the back of our garden, and check up on it every once in a while using a flashlight. But the sirup-mixture was far from ideal anyway, so I decided to not put too much effort in it. No moths as far as I saw, but we did get to see another nightly visitor! A Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus, Egel in Dutch) came by to lick away some of the sirup, right in front of the window and our noses. So cute... After a few seconds it left for the darkness of our back garden. I went out after a minute to listen to the sounds the Hedgehog was making. I not only heard the rustling sounds it was making, but also heard some calls of Tawny Owls (Strix aluco, Bosuil in Dutch). I tried to capture some of these sounds by making a short movie with my camera, but it's nothing worth uploading I'm afraid. I did take a picture as I heard that the Hedgehog was really nearby. I had to use flash of course, which causes the eyes to look a bit ugly unfortunately.

Today I built a roof to protect my bee blocks from most of the rain. I planned on using roof tiles at first, but as roof tiles are rather heavy, this would require a very firm frame to support them. Insted, I used a plate of 'Trespa' that we still had laying around in the garage and a simple frame made out of leftover wood. I hope it helps to increase the level of success of the nesting bees. You can see on the picture below there are quite some holes filled in the upper block, though some, which cannot be seen on the picture, have opened already, meaning those were probably parasitized.