I haven’t seen one of these for a while. This European Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa) was under the plastic sheet covering a pile of gravel I have in the garden. Freaky, alien creatures….
Years back, in Portugal, I kept one as a pet and the only thing it wouldn’t eat was a Cicada – but they’re even scarier…..
This Sabre wasp (Rhyssa persuasoria) was buzzing around our plot of land up in the mountains near the Polish border. It has one scarily long tail used for stinging larvae embedded in logs and trees, then laying an egg in them.
We have a new visitor to the garden – a young red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Unlike the manky, hairy old fox I chased out the other week, this one seems quite naive and obviously hasn’t been through a hunting season yet. Recently, Slovakia announced open season on all foxes and raccoon dogs in an attempt to curb their population growth. While foxes are cute, they are the number one cause of rabies in the area.
Whilst nowhere near as cute as their smaller Roe deer cousins, young Red deer (Cervus elaphus hippelaphus) still have a certain je ne sais quoi when jumping around….
This was a particularly friendly Fallow deer (Dama dama) buck we encountered as an attraction at an unusual location. The owners of a former brothel, in quite a remote village,, obviously decided to change their ‘theme’ and keep Fallow deer in order to attract visitors. Unfortunately, their business plan doesn’t seem to be working as, like us, people just stop, take photos and then leave. The owner was annoyed that we didn’t want drinks.
I had to wipe deer saliva from my camera lens after this as the young buck decided to give it a good licking. Poor thing was being terrorized by horseflies as well.
Here’s one of my resident lizards (Lacerta viridis) sunning himself on the Zen rock pile in the garden. He does like having his photo taken…
A flock of goldfinches (Cardeulis cardeulis) were stripping the berries in my father’s garden. Ordinarily a very brightly coloured bird, a heavy overcast managed to subdue their colouring almost completely.