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Easy to make ladybird cake
Crafts for Kids

How to Make a Bug Cake – Awesome School Holiday Fun

Bug-tastic Bug Cake Recipe Thanks very much to our friend Danusha for this fantastic idea – so much fun and sooooo tasty! You can check out her other creations on her Etsy Store (not all edible!) Here’s how to make a great bug cake with your little bugs: For the Cake: 125g butter, softened 1/2 […]

Large White Pieris brassicae

Of Cabbages and Things…

The Wonderful Large White   “Large White” can refer to a type of cabbage (yum!), butterfly (aah!) or even pig (Catherine says: pig! pig! oink!).  What do they have in common, besides the name? Well, for a start, both the pig and the butterfly will eat the cabbage, given half a chance.  (This is starting […]

Bird-cherry Ermine Moth plagues surrey

When is a plague not a plague?

Blessings in disguise A street in south London has apparently been “invaded” by a “plague” of Bird-cherry Ermine Moth caterpillars Yponomeuta evonymella. The good people of Warfield Road have been complaining in the pages of the Evening Standard that their trees (presumably Bird-cherries Prunus padus) are being damaged and that “it’s just not on.” Quite […]

Henry's Pond Leech

Henry’s Pond Leech

Lovely, lovely leeches Now, there’s a phrase you don’t read every day. Henry and his Dad were cleaning out the pond pump and found a couple of freshwater leeches inside the filter.  It’s hard to know quite what they are (even leech experts have trouble telling species apart) but we’ve finally settled on Dina lineata […]

pond skaters

Lovely day for a swim water bug…

…or a skate Henry and his Dad spent the afternoon watching the frogs in their pond.  These lovely amphibians (the common frog Rana temporaria) are, of course, vertebrates and so not really relevant on this blog.  But they eat invertebrates, so they kind of count.  And we also spotted at least one kind of aquatic […]

cute bugs

Even more legs!

What’s going on? OK, this is getting silly (and not a little embarrassing).  After our centipede interloper yesterday, today we found a millipede on the bathroom floor.  I’m now getting seriously concerned about the ventilation in there as both these species love moist conditions.  Not a good sign. Anyway, this time we’ve got ourselves what […]

sugar cubes laced with poison pesticides

Cockroaches and Darwin

Cocky cockroaches In Metro today, a news snippet that US cockroaches have been observed learning to avoid poison bait and are apparently developing an averison to the taste of glucose which is added to the bait to disguise the taste and tempt them in.  The trait seems to be inheritable and so we can look forward to […]

buzzing bees

A sting in the tale

A sting in the tale – Dave Goulson (pub Jonathan Cape) Book Review Fantastic – 288 hardback pages all about bumblebees!  Dave Goulson is a life long fan of all things Bombus,being the driving force behind attempts to reintroduce the short-haired bumblebee Bombus subterraneus to Kent as well as the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation […]


How many legs?

How many legs? Not sure what it says about the state of our housekeeping, but we had a visitor in the bathroom this morning: this rather nice common brown centipede Lithobius forficatus who had got stuck and was running around in search of somewhere to hide. We picked him up on some tissue paper and […]


Spring is finally sprunging!

It’s been a harsh winter for our mini-friends – relentlessly cold, with long periods of unseasonally low temperatures and snow, ice and frost right into April.  What a relief to know that spring has finally shown up. We took full advantage of the sun and the (belated) warm weather this weekend, and gave our allotment shed a […]