It’s blisteringly hot at the Abbazia San Giusto in Tuscania in Italy today. There’s not much wind and precious little shelter. Tucked in a corner of the garden is small rectangular pond with waterlilies. It’s buzzing with life.
There’s a European Hornet, Vespa crabro on a lilypad:
It’s an impressively large insect and I steer well clear of it.
There’s a bright red dragonfly, the Scarlet Darter, Crocothemis erythraea, delicately poised on the side of the pond:
There’s also a exuvia, a discarded external skeleton, of a dragonfly on a water lily leaf:
I think this one is from an Aeshnid dragonfly though.
The Scarlet Darter flies off and comes back again and again, so I work my angles and get increasingly better shots:
In the water are wriggling things. At first I think they must be leeches but I soon realise they have strange segments and can’t be. They are Soldier Fly larvae:
They are huge. I’d love to see the flies they metamorphose into.
In the lawn I can see butterflies. I think this one is a very tattered Clouded Yellow, Colias croceus :
There’s also what looks like a day-flying moth but which is actually a Skipper Butterfly:
There’s also a Scarce Swallowtail, Iphiclides podalirius, feeding nearby:
Finally there’s a wasp. I don’t know what type of wasp. It’s big, it’s very decorative and it’s definitely not a Vespa vulgaris:
More research needed on this one.
I’ve been out here just long enough to get severely sunburnt if it hadn’t been for Factor 50, heavily applied. It must be time for me to go in and eat some more fresh figs.