British Flower Beetles

Life can be funny. What happened was almost alike to a parallel universe. Because I was looking up on the net for the id of these beetles I’ve recently seen. Finding the answer from whoever but myself! who mentioned the id of this beetle 9 years ago on my old iloveflowerbeetles blog. Well!

I’m seeing LOTS of insect life in my garden since the virus lockdown and the councils throughout Britain have STOPPED cutting the hedgerows – meaning more wildflowers and more insects. More butterflies: Cabbage Whites; Red Admiral and Peacock. And more unique looking beetles including: a British Flower beetle with ‘frog legs’ discovered on the kitchen sink drainer, (the photos in this reblogged post), and, a female version of the same beetle but with the thin legs, discovered hopping from my head onto my chest. John could not believe my excitement! I get all in awe of beautiful beetles.

O I do miss the days of keeping exotic bugs. If anyone is in Thailand and has any live frog (Sagra) beetles I’m very interested in buying 😀

i love flower beetles's blog

Flower Beetles in the UK

Last summer I spotted a rectangular, green beetle on my patio.  Its metallic shiny green body sparkled in the sun, it was indeed an attractive creature, with long antenae and gauze like delicate wings (elytron – beetles have 2 pairs of wings; one pair acts as protection to the more delicate other ones underneath).  Being no entomologist myself, and relatively new to beetles, I had no idea what it was. 

A British flower beetle photographed by Lofaesofa - thank you for the use of your photo!

On a recent web search on flower beetles I came across my answer: it was a type of British flower beetle.  A thick-legged flower beetle, Oedemera nobilis.

British flower beetle photographed by Mountainashe - thank you for permission to use your lovely photo.

There is another photograph that is part of a set with the above one, taken by Mountainashe, just click *HERE* (several sizes available).

This is the other photo by Mountainashe - clicking this photo will take you to the largest one, other sizes are available through the link above.

About 1 cm in length, it is only the males who have the thick – or frog – legs.  They live throughout the UK…

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Potted Up! – or potted up and peed on – (photos of tea rose + blueberry etc)

 

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29th June 2020

Photos I took of the tea rose with biden flowers and the blueberry bush with miniature pansies after potting them up in lovely, new, big pots. Unfortunately, despite it being midday it was a gloomy day. Our weather in Norfolk (England) is all over the place now – hot to cold, to warm to cooler, hot briefly and today, the 7th July, quite chilly!

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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The new bug houses arrived :D (photos)

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My bug boxes (insect houses) finally arrived! They came with my Asda food grocery delivery, I bought two. Last time they were out of stock.

They’re excellent value for money £3 each. Even come with a metal loop to hang up on walls/fences/trees. They seem well constructed enough – but the edges of the elongated holes are a little rough and need a quick swipe of the sandpaper, and, the wood needs some kind of protection, acrylic paint/varnish/beeswax. I’m not sure if the smell of some of these ‘weather-protections’ will put off the insects though? I’ll have to look into it.

Note: It is important to lightly sandpaper away any rough edges because they can tear and damage any delicate insect wings.

I will be decorating mine! 😀

Available in the UK. (I don’t know about elsewhere; Asda was bought from Walmart some years ago, so maybe they’re available in the U.S. too?).

Love to you and be safe xo

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

 

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YOU can help these abused monkeys!

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There is currently a cruel trade using pigtailed macaques monkeys, which are abused and chained up, to climb trees to collect the coconuts which are in the coconut milks and oils that we buy.

The right and kind way of using hydraulic lifts on tractors to collect the coconuts and NOT using monkeys is a superior method anyway – because the monkeys cannot distinguish the ripened coconuts from the unripened ones and the coconuts become bruised when dropped on the ground.

https://www.peta.org.uk/action/retailers-drop-thai-coconut/

🐒 YOU CAN HELP! 🐒

Simply by clicking on the above url link that takes you to a page where you add your full name and email. This automatically sends a message to the main businesses employing enslaved monkeys to pick our coconuts (apparently usually Thailand).

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Mother with her baby.

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I never knew that these highly intelligent, beautiful, social creatures were used this way – stolen as babies, chained up and imprisoned in cramped cages, sometimes having their teeth removed. They live without others of their kind and some literally go insane. It is downright cruel and shouldn’t be happening.

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Poor little creature, you can see his/her pain and high intelligence, just like a little person.

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Major Retailers Drop Thai Coconut Brands After PETA Monkey-Abuse Exposé

Help Monkeys

Please make sure that your coconut products don’t come from suppliers that use monkey labour. Avoid the brands Aroy-D and Chaokoh and all coconut products from Thailand. In general, coconut products originating in Brazil, Colombia, Hawaii, India, and the Philippines are supplied by companies that don’t use monkey labour.

Aroy-D and Chaokoh are still exploiting monkeys. Send a message urging them to stop supporting this cruel industry.

I signed the petition and took note of the brands NOT to buy, that support using these monkeys this way. Please help too, it does make a difference.

More about it – https://www.peta.org.uk/features/coconut-monkeys/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53276071

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I haven’t been online for a few days because I’m recuperating from exhaustion. Simply visiting the vet and standing just a little too long is worsening the condition of my cracked spine. I will be around soon. Love to you and keep safe xox

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New book cover art ~DOGGED

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I’m writing a book of short stories, fantasy/horror with one common theme – you’ll never guess what that is! LOL.

I’m aiming for an October publication date, more will be said about this. And it will be available to buy via Amazon.

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I illustrated the cover art by hand in my small sketchbook, scanned it in and worked on the graphics all night. Because I did it horizontally – and I don’t mean lying in bed! – and not vertically I’m going to have to add ‘things’ to the finished book cover. Novels are portrait rather than landscape. 🙄

I had fun designing an abstract kind of cover with plenty of you-know-whats and there’s some Art Deco elements there amongst the chaos.
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This here (above), isn’t the complete cover.

dogged_cover_290620_sleepingdog  All images created + owned by me, the copyright holder.

They are not free to take.  dogged_cover_290620_blooddrop 

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in Art, Book Promotion, dogs, short story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Ripening + blooming + emerging (photos)

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24th June 2020

Photos I took of the ripening blueberries, the blooming of the hydrangea. And, of course, the small new potatoes just emerged from where I threw a couple of potatoes in a plant pot, late last year. Those two potatoes were old and sprouting so I thought, why not have a go at growing potatoes. (I didn’t really do all the work!).

I’m so ridiculously proud of those baby potatoes! 😀

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Above – We’ve been eating these blueberries. They are a little bitter.

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The metal connectors came for the new hose pipe today. When I eventually fitted them Friday, the collars cut up my fingers – there’s a deep gash in my thumb tip. I’m not saying all products are inferior from China, but these were cheaply made, normally the sharp edges should be sanded. I’ve never cut myself on nuts and bolts before and I’ve done lots of flat-pack furniture building (I sit down).

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in life, plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

In the garden (photos)

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23rd June 2020

Photos I took on another hot day, the patio plants, John and the dogs in the garden, the update with the growing tomato seedlings (and mystery seedling).

I like seeing how my little container garden evolves over the years and to have memories of my family. This is the scope of my  physical -world now, the one that crippleness and chronic pain has permitted me.

I’m quite happy in my own company, though I’d greatly miss having a dog if I didn’t have any! I did used to enjoy giving dinner parties with plenty of delicious food and good wine and I do miss having company today, but I always liked my time alone to create and recuperate.

I am so fortunate to have a green space to use while there are physically disabled and otherwise ill people with only poky flats without even a balcony – that is why public green spaces are so important, for mental wellbeing and bodily exercise, for social interactions with others, for children to meet other children and play, for walking that dog who is your only companion. So much of England’s ancient woods have been destroyed for our growing population, the housing, the public facilities, farming and agriculture. Land is ever more costly. In contrast, it amazes me, despite knowing how enormous Canada is, how inexpensive a piece of land costs in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. I hope there will always be green spaces in Britain (and elsewhere too!) which would mean alternative ways of constructing housing with greener credentials (style, energy, materials, location) – and living elsewhere. Another planet, the ocean?! Sadly – alarmingly – the resources are not infinite.

Now for the photos 🙂

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Above – tomato seedlings and mystery plant.

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Above 2 – Bidens and miniature pansies.

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Above – golden/orange Tiger Lillies.

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Above – Blueberry bush.

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Above 2 – ‘Eye of the tiger’ tea roses.

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Above – Beatrix Grace aka Bumble Bee.

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Above 2 – Oscar Dandelion aka Baby Boy.

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Above – Chester aka Chester-Pup (she’s 12 years old now), and, Sweety Pie.

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Above – Poppy Cream Scone and Nutmeg.

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Above – Twiglet Art (Art as in art itself) aka Wiggerly.

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Above – Beatrix, CoCo and Twiglet.

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Above – John.

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The last day we sat outside with Nutmeg.

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Above – I love these two photos of Chester. She just ‘posed’ so naturally, with no coercing from me.

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Thursday she went to the vet because of her lump. We last went in December. We asked for a blood test which came back showing her in top health – so we can go ahead with removing it. Even if it’s benign now it can always change to cancerous. I don’t need to know the state of the lump as having it removed, but, her lungs will be x-rayed.

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in dogs, life, plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Nutmeg (beloved pet bereavement)

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Feeling sad today because my little rabbit, Nutmeg, hopped off to heaven yesterday (Tuesday 23rd June 2020). He had a wonderful, sweet character; every time you went into the utility room he greeted you, bounding up to the cage bars to say hello with his soft “beep, beep, beep.” Most times he got a gentle pat on the head or, if busy with something, I just pressed my hand up to the bars where he was. It wasn’t about food or treats it was simply because he liked us. I’ve never known a rabbit call me before.

John knew something was up, Nutmeg wasn’t greeting him, instead he lay on his side. He picked him up and put him in the large run at the bottom of the garden, a bowl of water by his side and although the light was dappled by the overhead trees, he put something over the top for additional shade. It was quite a hot day. The past week he seemed to be slower than usual and I didn’t want to think he may go soon. We sat, together with the dogs, near him. We both thought he was dying – at 5 years and 7 months, it could be expected. Rabbits don’t have long life spans.

John placed him gently via the roof flap into the run and Nutmeg hopped off to a far corner, where he lay. Now and again I watched him for signs of breathing. Some time later, about an hour, I asked John’s help in watering the plants because I’m unable to hold large watering cans and buckets due to my injuries. When we returned, half an hour later, he had gone.

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Some wouldn’t understand pet bereavement, especially with a rabbit. But Nutmeg was special and he’ll be greatly missed.

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

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Garden + patio plants (photos)

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12th June 2020

Photos I took of a fruit tree, Foxglove and garden/patio plants. Ought to be placed between the photos of the 2nd and 20th June 2020. Whoops!

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Foxgloves

The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, in Faery,
A thousand ages gone.
All the golden clappers hang
As if but now the changes rang;
Only from the mottled throat
Never any echoes float.
Quite forgotten, in the wood,
Pale, crowded steeples rise;
All the time that they have stood
None has heard their melodies.
Deep, deep in wizardry
All the foxglove belfries stand.
Should they startle over the land,
None would know what bells they be.
Never any wind can ring them,
Nor the great black bees that swing them–
Every crimson bell, down-slanted,
Is so utterly enchanted.
– by Mary Webb

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Above photo: Foxglove. I sowed some foxglove seeds last year and apparently I have three of them in the long grass of the neglected flower/veg bed. They are a native flower of Britain and a favourite of ‘Cottage Gardens’. They’re featured heavily in Art Deco patterns on plates, cups, and embroidered table-cloths.

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“Foxgloves are an important source of pollen for bees. The species has evolved to be especially attractive to long-tongued bees such as the common carder bee. The brightly coloured flowers and dark spotted lip attracts the bee, while the lower lip of the flower allows the insect to land before climbing up the tube. In doing so, the bee will drop pollen from other foxgloves, allowing the plant to reproduce.” – Woodlandtrust.org.uk

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Above photo: a plenitude of golden buttercups! I sowed these seeds some time ago. I was missing this wildflower and the bees love it too.

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Above photo: the plum tree. I usually call it the apple tree – we have apples, pears and plums – but I think it’s the plum tree 😉  Look at the fruit emerging – still green, hard and completely inedible.

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Above photo: My beloved Granddad’s summerhouse peeking out from under the boughs of trees. When he passed on his summerhouse came here.

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Above photo: ferns from the nearby sand dunes seeded themselves here. Apparently the Victorians loved ferns so much they pillaged them from the British countryside. The loss of ferns – where they were abundantly growing – is even more significant today. I think they’re beautiful. I water them along with my other plants.

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Above photo: the blueberries before that one turned pink!

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Above photo: the tea rose, just buds and leaves…

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Above photo: the washing-line-clematis before it bloomed!

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Above photo: the tall, ragged daisies before they flowered.

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Reference links

Foxglove

Mary Webb

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Copyright Faith McCord 2020

Story and artwork belongs to Faith McCord who is the author and artist holding the copyright. This is not a public domain work. Worldwide rights.

Posted in nature, plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

FREE permaculture year-long course

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Interesting… I came across this and thought I’d share it with you in case someone’s interested 🙂

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FREE permaculture course – over 52 weeks

freepermaculture.com

52 classes, on all aspects of ecological design:

  • What is permaculture?
  • Whole system design
  • Access to Land
  • Ecological Principles
  • Attitudinal Principles
  • Systems thinking
  • Zones& Sectors
  • Reading the Land
  • Water​ Systems
  • Soil Building
  • Organic Gardening
  • Seed Saving
  • Food Forests
  • Working with Nature
  • Self care & inner landscape
  • Economic systems
  • Appropriate technology
  • The built environment
  • Ecovillages
  • Placemaking
  • Finding your niche
  • and more!!

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What is permaculture?

Permaculture combines three key aspects:

1. An ethical framework: earth care, people care, fair shares

2. Understandings of how nature works

3. A design approach

This unique combination provides a toolkit that is used to design regenerative systems at all scales – from home and garden to community, farm and bioregions around the world.

The word ‘permaculture’ comes originally from ‘permanent agriculture‘ and ‘permanent culture‘ – it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature.

Permanence is not about everything staying the same. It is about stability, about deepening soils and cleaner water, thriving communities in self-reliant regions, biodiverse agriculture, and social justice, peace and abundance. –  permaculture.org.uk

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References links

https://www.freepermaculture.com/

https://www.permaculture.org.uk/knowledge-base/basics

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