Monday, 17 August 2009

More views of the garden

A damaged knee has somewhat restricted my visits to the river, but it has presented a chance to look at things closer to home.
Although the nemesis of gardeners I find slugs and snails fascinating and can spend ages just watching them. A fact born by the 60 or so photos I took on Sunday, including this monstrous 12cm black slug. Black slugs can be black, white, red or in this case, orange:

An interesting article on slugs and slug control is from the Cardiff School of Biosciences

A garden snail was also out

It's the way the eye stalks and tentacles elongate and retract themselves that fascinate me, they are just so different to anything else in the animal kingdom

Another garden pest is the caterpillar, the experts on the Wild about Britain forum have suggested it could be a noctuid moth caterpillar - the Natural History Museum website, lists 446 members of the family:
Although late in the year, it may pupate for winter and hatch in spring next year.

And a nest of red ants wrecking havoc on the front lawn:


  1. I think that your ants are yellow meadow ants. We have the privilege of having some in our lawn too! They build quite large ant hills in downland areas. An ant expert who has been studying this species for many years has found that the hills increase in volume by up to a litre per year. So we could have some nice mounds in our lawns in a few years time!
    Ours produced winged males and females on 5th August and were much appreciated by the toads in our garden, who snaffled as many as they could before they could take off for their nuptial flights.

  2. Hope your knee improves soon.

  3. Thanks Kate,

    It's a lot better - it came up all black, but the swellings gone down.
    I'd hope to be back to the river this weekend, but I have a four week backlog of DIY jobs.

  4. Hello David,
    Welcome to this small backwater of the Abingdon blogs and thank you for the insight into the ants - very interesting, is somewhat alarming for the future of my lawn.
    I spent so long trying to identify the caterpillar that I didn't think much about them.
    Having now read more, I think they deserve a blog entry of their own.