Saturday, July 19, 2008

137:365 - Back at the Devonian gardens

Philippe: So we went back to the Devonian Garden today. Turns out they've got a butterfly house :)

Suntanning on a rock

Kinda prickly looking, but still pretty

Just plain pretty.

Um, still pretty, kinda :D

Anna: I've uploaded a whole bunch of photos from today onto my flickr account. I was really envying the macro lens today - the one that was on Philippe's camera. ;-) This trip, we went through the Japanese garden, then the greenhouse. We'll have to make another trip to see more.

I wanted to post this photo, not because it's particularly good, but because it shows what a totally geeky family we are. *L* If you click on the photo for the larger image, you should be able to see that black beetle my elder daughter is trying to get a photo of.

It's black, about 1 1/2 inches long with antennae about the same length, and with huge mandibles. I don't know what they're actually called, but when I was a kid, we called them wood bugs because we always found them in our log pile and on trees. They bore through wood with those powerful mandibles. We used to tease our barn cats with them by holding them firmly (and carefully!) by the body and holding them out for the cat to investigate. When the cat leaned forward to sniff the beetle, it wasn't unusual for the cat to end up with the beetle firmly attached to its nose. After shaking the beetle off, the cat then usually ate it.

It was on me.

I had been taking photos off to the side and, as I returned to my family, my younger daughter spotted it. With a rather shocked look on her face, said "hey, there's bug on you!" I couldn't see it myself, as it was quickly climbing up my shoulder. Philippe promptly started chasing it with his camera (none of the photos turned out - it was moving too fast) as I felt it go around the back of my neck, turn around, go back around the side of my neck and up my jaw. That's when Philippe finally flicked it off of me and onto the path, which is when my daughter took over with her camera.

It's a good thing I'm not bothered by bugs.


Abraham Lincoln said...

I really enjoyed your post and read it though. I came to the part of the beetle and realized what it was from your description.

It is a "Stag Beetle" and there are several varieties. The ones I have taken photos of here are black and a deep reddish brown color. You can Google "Stag Beetle" and see them.

Ruth said...

I think that flower is sempervivum, I have macro shots of it too, what we call hens and chicks?

BouBou's said...

Gah! Did a search on stag beetles. Nopenopenope. Definitely not a stag beetle. I don't think I could've stood still with one of those one me! LOL This thing has powerful mandibles, but it's got nothing on the stag beetle.

I'm pretty sure it's a type of longhorned beetle - possibly a spruce borer, though all the images I can find, the beetles have colours, spots, speckles and other markings, while these are just plain matte black.

Ruth - do you mean this photo? The gardens had everything well labeled, but I lost complete track of what was what. *L* I should remember to bring a note pad next time we go. They did have hen and chicks (I could actually recognize those. ;-D) in the arid room of the greenhouse, but not outdoors in the Japanese garden.

Gawdess said...

some seriously great shots here!