Doing what comes naturally...

Grey...damp...but warm!

The morning was spent catching up with lots of odd jobs - identifying a few mosses (one of which is potentially a new Vice County record), tidying Alex's books and papers which seemed to have spread, proof-reading a report and re-drawing some survey maps.

Chris and I headed to Southey Wood after lunch to get the dogs exercised before the next burst of rain. The spring flowers are still looking good, and there were even a few insects around, mostly the very conspicuous, bristly, black St. Mark's flies - worth a close look as their head is entirely occupied by their enormous hairy eyes, which meet in the middle.

We saw several pairs mating, but they were always in awkward spots. Chris spotted this pair of crane flies Tipula varipennis doing what comes naturally. They were hanging on the wood false-brome, and I managed to get the camera close without disturbing them, even though I got a wet and muddy knee! The structure of these delicate creatures is quite amazing - especially the patterning on the wings, and the club-shaped halteres, which are the vestigial remains of the second pair of wings that most insects posess.

Chris has returned to Sheffield tonight for his last two lectures of the term, but will be back with us on Saturday to finish off his dissertation and get it printed out. After that he only has a week of revision, one exam and then his third year at University will be over - very hard to believe! Unfortunately Alex has a lot more work to do before he can relax - I'm now of the opinion that Btec diplomas require an awful lot more sustained work than A levels, and certainly aren't an easy option!

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