I was supposed to be taking lots of pictures of vintage cars today but that has been put back until next year. It has been a grand day, hardly any wind and temperatures in the high teens. I’ve had Bertha out looking for Buzzards. I could hear them but they were miles away. It looks as if the skies are clearing completely so I’ll try for some star shots later.
No! Half an hour later this Small Tortoiseshell turned up, this one looks brand new. I then went to have a look at the newt family. There are more than ever and they have adopted a small frog but it hopped down a hole before I could take it’s picture.
I am pretty sure these are Smooth Newts. I turned one over and it had a spotted throat. I then turned another over and it didn’t so either there are both Smooth and Palmate Newts living together or the book is wrong. I hope these survive the winter. They are doing some building work not far away from their home. I don’t know what to do for the best. Let them take their chance or put a sign up telling folk where they are. I counted nine or ten of them and the frog. There could be many more lurking underground. They are beautiful little creatures.
Whilst rooting about in the undergrowth I found this. I thought I'd found a Pine Ladybird but no. It’s a Harlequin these didn’t exist in the UK ten years ago but they are all over now. They vary dramatically in marking, colour and size but they don’t have black legs. I’m sorry about the picture quality. I popped it in a little plastic box to bring it back to the van but it didn’t have a clue what Sit…Stay meant. Something it has in common with my dogs. It then flew away but came back and landed on my shirt so it is now back in it’s box in the fridge. I’ll try for some better pictures of it later. I’ve been looking for a leaf with some aphids on to keep it quiet but there don’t seem to be any about.
The gentleman with the car collection popped round to postpone the car snapping. He arrived in this beautiful P Type MG Midget. It was built in 1935 and from the honeycomb radiator I think it is a PA. The PB had a vertically slatted radiator and was a 100cc bigger. It may be the other way round. My memory is not what it was and I forgot to ask.
I wish I’d had longer in it’s company. The owner was in a rush, he had to go and cocoon another couple of cars for the winter and pluck some pheasants……It’s no good asking, I didn’t so I don’t know. Strange are the ways of collectors.
We will see what tomorrow brings but the weather is not looking good here.