Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

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…..

Sabre Wasp

Sabre Wasp

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.

Young Red Fox

Young Red Fox

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.

Fallow deer buck

Fallow deer buck

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.