Sunday, 5 August 2012

Close Encounters

Here are some of the friends we made during our recent camping trip:

A Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar, who seemed intent on reaching the top of our umbrella as we curled up under it to get out of the sun for a while.  It made it, despite a few flicks into the grass when I thought it might drop on our heads.
Marbled White - rescued from the sea by Rob and drying off in Annie's hands.
 Finally ready to fly.
 Back at the tent, we had a visit from a Common Toad - caught it trying to get in the food box.
Distinguishable from the Common Frog by it's warty skin, less bulbous eyes and stumpier back legs and body.
 We all had a hold before he hopped away.  I didn't know at the time that toads secrete a poisonous substance from glands behind their eyes called Bufotoxin.  This can cause a reaction in humans from an itchy rash to cardiac failure.  Toady here must have known we were just curious and wouldn't harm it, but I think I'll be more respectful in future.
 Annie and I saw many moths over the week, some very teddy-bearish.  Unfortunately they were all in the ladies loos, and marching in there with my camera may have caused some alarm among fellow campers, so I resisted.  However, this pumpkin seed that turned out to be a  Common Footman, showed up in our tent as we were folding it away.
Here photographed on Rob's boot (after several futile attempts to focus on it while it sat on my lens, grinning at me through the barrel, well, perhaps not grinning.)

8 comments:

  1. Great photos Omi - I really like the Marbled White photos and the toad is cute :) I didn't realise either that the poisonous substance can affect humans! Sounds like you had a lovely break :)

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    1. Thanks Caroline, it was lovely, can't wait to go again!

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  2. Hi Omi, You picked a good week weather wise for your latest jaunt and definitely had some exciting encounters! Lovely photos of the Marbled White, very well done to Rob for rescuing it :-) I haven't seen any Cinnabar caterpillars so far this year, of course the control/persecution of Ragwort doesn't help.

    Lovely to see the toad and that rather smart looking Common Footman too.

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    1. Thank you Jan :) Rob rescuing that Marbled White gave me a good excuse to delay a cold plunge myself - I had mixed feelings when it flew away, lol.

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  3. Marbled Whites are lovely butterflies, I am glad you managed to save one from drowning! I always see Cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort, which I assume is its food plant? I always seem to get 'squirted' by the Common Toads, they obviously don't trust me as much! ;)
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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    1. Hi John, yes it was a good feeling to rescue the M White. Ragwort is the Cinnabar's food of choice, they tend to eat fast though and often run out of food and then starve to death. They are also cannibalistic, probably because they're hungry. Take care with those Toads!

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  4. Splendid post Omi, a most enjoyable read (great phtos too). I can just picture Rob wading into the see to rescue that poor flutter!!!

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    1. Thanks so much Jason :D Yes, Rob was quite a hero. Mind you, for a moment I was wary as to what was in his cupped hands as he strode across the sand towards me...

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