Barry the weevil

A day of mixed emotions! The day dawned clear and bright, but with a line of cloud on the horizon, which soon spread to form a veil of cirro-cumulus over the whole sky - a sure sign of a change in the weather. I took the dogs to the river before breakfast, while the light was still good, in the hope of some good bird captures, but when I attached the 300mm lens it wouldn't focus...

I remembered that the lens had dropped out of my camera backpack when I returned from Bdford Purlieus on Sunday. It had been in its padded case, and when I checked it over I had thought everything was OK. But this morning, when I examined it more thoroughly, I realised there was a dent and crack in the casing. My favourite and most expensive lens was fatally damaged...

When I got home I rang our insurance company and explained what had happened. A lovely lady confirmed that it was covered, and by lunchtime I received a call to let me know that the claim had gone through successfully and a brand new lens would be with me in 2 to 5 working days. Both the people who dealt with the claim were charming and helpful, and I was so grateful that everything had progressed so smoothly.

The rest of the morning was spent picking up Alex from his party and stocking the food cupboards yet again! After lunch Alex, Ben and I went over to Kingscliffe to spend the afternoon with two other home-educating families. It was great to catch up with their news, and four hours just sped by! When we came to leave we realised that it had been raining most of the afternoon - proper steady rain producing great splashy puddles on the road - just what my strawberries and broad beans needed.

Between all the going hither and thither I managed to find a little time to photograph this short-nosed weevil, whose specific name is Barynotus moerens. It's shown sitting on the flowers of dog's mercury, the dominant ground flora species in calcareous woodlands. The weevil's larvae eat the roots, and it can often be found in ancient woodlands, especially in central England, during the months of May and June. I'm particularly fond of weevils, and love the golden scales of this one, as well as his pollen-dusted bristly beard!

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