Despite the fact that it was a crisp, sunny winter day (my favourite kind), I spent most of the day inside entering plant data. My chest is still quite growly and I really didn't feel too good this morning, so decided it might be better to spend a quiet day in the warm.

At dusk, in the absence of any other photographs, I decided that it was about time I had a go at focus stacking. I've been considering it for a couple of years now, but never quite got around to downloading the software or trying it out. I asked Pete for one of his specimens, and this is the result of my second attempt, made up of a stack of fifteen images. There's definitely room for improvement, but I was quite pleased overall. I've also included the first attempt in extras, so that you can see the whole beetle.

The Heath Goldsmith Carabus nitens is one of the most beautiful British ground-beetles, inhabiting heather moorland and heathland, mostly in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but also in the New Forest and Dorset. It's a very local species. This specimen was caught in a pitfall trap as part of an ecological survey in Northern Ireland.

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