Thursday, 10 March 2016

It's just not Cricket . . .

Last year I took a lot of macro photos of a variety of insects and other invertebrates as I practised with the new XS-1 and relieved boredom from the lack of dragons and damsels.

I'm always on the lookout for a theme so have loosely tied together some pictures on the subject of sport, and I apologise in advance for the often very tenuous links :

Let's start off with Cricket, well not quite, just the similar Grasshoppers to be precise. Sadly my ancient lugs can't hear the high-pitched leg-rubbing of the grasshopper anymore, even at very close quarters, and yes I feel sad at that, but last year I saw more 'hoppers than ever before just by investigating sudden movements at my feet. Usually they're not very obliging for photographs as they either creep through thick grass or suddenly hop off as you approach them, but I was lucky enough to get a few colourful characters which didn't mind posing :

This one in fact had to be forcibly removed
from the shoulder of Sprog1 in the end

Here it is on my finger, I don't find these easy to ID as they're so variable but this one a Chorthippus brunneus
or Field Grasshopper

So different in appearance but same species, another C. brunneus I believe
This one more tricky but also a C. brunneus methinks. The underdeveloped wings making it a
late instar individual, another shedding and it should be fully formed.
This one was different though, a Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus.
No reason to put this next one in apart from the fact its the only other gropper photo I have, taken in Mallorca in Oct 2004. Calliptamus barbarus if I'm not mistaken, though I may well be.

Calliptamus barbarus, The Barbary Cricket
The only cricketing connection is that it knocked me for six when I saw it, bloody massive it was.

Staying on the cricketing theme (sort of) I was lucky enough to have a Mayfly land next to me in bankside vegetation as I was out looking for Banded Demoiselles along the Derwent one day. 

I hadn't realised they were so strikingly marked, usually seen at distance in big numbers,
flitting over the water's surface. 

It was certainly cricketing weather, and as I watched it, this one began a series of foreleg movements, often resembling the scoring signals of a cricket umpire :

First signalling a 4 . . .

. . . Then a 6 . . .

. . . And finally playing an invisible piano in the pavilion after the match. 

Well, that's all for cricket, but if you think that was a bit tenuous, wait 'til you see the next lot . . .


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