Early starts…

It was my birthday last week, and amongst the great gifts that I recieved including a Superman T shirt (thankfully, not the tights and pants!) – I was also presented with a Nike+ running system..

A ruddy complexion!

Little did I know at the time, but my eldest son had plans – and when I logged onto the Nike+ site the following day I was met with a welcome in the shape of ‘The Davis Challege’! 

Simple enough, who could run the most miles in 30 days..  My son had also managed to craftily put in a 9.5 mile run that very morning – so before I even slipped on my trainers I was already well behind!

I set about catching him up,  by running before work every day – and what an eye opener it proved to be!  Not only is it far cooler, but the local wildlife is still out and about at 6.45am -though it takes me a while to get my eyes open enough to see it all!

It's been hard work running in that heat!

Dartford warblers, fox, lizards, sparrowhawks – they have all helped me get around my 4-6 mile treks as I slowly overhauled the distance and even managed to get ahead..

I have no idea how long this will continue -probably as long as my legs, hips, knees and everything else is able to put up with it, but there are still 24 days left of the Challenge!  It’s my turn to set the next Challenge, which will probably be something like running the least number of miles in 30 Days!!

Back to watching wildlife..  News from the starling box is that there is no news -if that makes sense!  No visits by either starling for 3 days now, so it’s looking bleak for the chance of any further nesting actvity this year.

Whilst admiring the way our crab apple tree has recovered from the rather severe pruning I gave it 2 years ago, we noticed 2 types of ladybird amongst the foliage.

The new invader from the continent was there, in fact a pair of them.  Harlequins are bigger than our indigenous ladybirds and come in all manner of assorted shades of red,black, orange or yellow. 

Harlequin ladybirds

 If they weren’t so destructive towards our own ladybirds then I could probably quite like them as some of the colouring can be very eyecatching.. The one here, with the glossy black base colour with 4 large red spots, looks quite a specimen.

The other ladybird on the tree was much smaller, a 2 spot ladybird..

2 Spot Ladybird, complete with food!

I was on a bit of a roll with the camera now, so moved around to the back garden to see what else I could get into my lens..

A pair of large red damsels

A pair of large red damsels (the male is the red one)

Sure enough, all around the pond were loads of damselflies, just waiting to be snapped!  It was mainly pairs, of Large Red Damselflys, plus one solitary Common Blue.

There was also a single male, quite content to sit side on so that I could get a bit of a profile shot..

Profile of a damsel..

Perhaps not as content as I thought though as he flew off after on a few quick shots – no doubt in search of a female damsel.

Last night was yet another warm and rather muggy night – perfect for the moth trap.  Did I catch any moths?  You’ll need to come back another time to find out..  ( I know, it’s a bit cheesy as cliff hangers go, but it seems to work for Springwatch so why not me!)

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