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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Ant Mimic

Here's an ant mimicking jumping spider from japan:

Myrmarachne Spp. Ant-mimic Jumping Spider

And an ant one branch over:

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Chinese Pond Terrapin

Pootling about in a canal in Kyoto:

Chinese pond terrapin - Mauremys reevesii

Chinese pond terrapin - Mauremys reevesii

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Skink Vs. Centipede

Nihon tokage - Japanese Skink - Plestiodon japonicus

The early skink catches the big, scary centipede: (video)

Nihon tokage - Japanese skink - Plestiodon japonicus

Monday, 25 April 2016

Greened Up Brackets

Monday Mushroom #103

Bleached, old bracket fungi - a fertile substrate for algae.

Sunday, 24 April 2016


Takydromus tachydromoides - kanahebi - Japanese grass lizard

Takydromus tachydromoides - kanahebi - Japanese grass lizard

Saturday, 23 April 2016


This is the first snake of my Kyoto adventure - a shimahebi, the Japanese striped snake or Japanese four-lined ratsnake, Elaphe quadrivirigata in the dank, mossy forest just outside the city limits.

Shimahebi - Elaphe quadrivirgata

Shimahebi - Elaphe quadrivirgata

Friday, 22 April 2016

Groovy Wedge

Fencepost of the Week #112

Monday, 18 April 2016

Brown Oyster Mushroom

Monday Mushroom #102

This is Pleurotus australis - a large, brown oyster mushroom from Australia and New Zealand. Fruiting bodies tend to be more solitary than other oysters. The cap often has a pale margin.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Friday, 8 April 2016

Laminar Separation

Fencepost of the Week #110

There's a lovely, rather unusual texture on this fencepost where the wood has separated into laminar sheets.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Knocking Stones

Over the years, looking out for cup-and-ring marked rocks in Argyll, I've found a number of these deep, bowl shaped depressions in boulders or bed-rock. All are next to long-standing farmsteads, and I have just recently found out what they are: Knocking Stones.

Knocking stone, Balnakailly, Bute.
Basically it's a large mortar used for crushing grains. The accompanying pestle would be a heavy wooden stick called a mell. I haven't found much information on how knocking stones relate to querns - what were their relative merits? Would a household with a functioning quern ever find a use for a knocking stone?

Most knocking stones would have been large - but movable - rocks with bowls ground out of them, and these would have been disposed of when newer, easier methods of processing grain came in. It is only those few that were opportunistically shaped out of conveniently at-hand boulders and bedrock that have remained in situ.

A 'portable' knocking stone that has been re-purposed as a flower pot.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Circle-ing the Square

Fencepost of the Week #109

Moss and lichen combining to round-out the harsher rectilinearities.