Gorse Shieldbug

Despite the poor weather forecast, it was a nice, sunny spring day - at least, it was out on the coast though I gather inland there were torrential downpours and hailstorms.  

With the sun came the insects, notably the gorse shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus.  Dozens of them were crawling up to the ends of the gorse Ulex europaeus stems. The eggs are laid on the gorse flowers.

At this time of year they are mostly green, having overwintered as adults.  The new generation in late summer will have purple-red markings.

They can be found almost anywhere across Europe to southern Scandinavia - anywhere there is gorse, but they also make use of several other related plants such as broom, dyer's greenweed, laburnum and sometimes clovers.

More photos of adults, nymphs and eggs here


Breaking Waves

I've lived most of my life within walking distance of the coast, and have always loved getting out when the weather is wild - but so long as it is safe!

Over the past two weeks, I've been out most days, taking over 1000 photos as I try to capture the power and noise of the waves.  The cliffs and wave-cut platforms of the Pembrokeshire coast provide great conditions for surfers, plenty of waves and surf, and with coasts facing all directions, there is bound to be somewhere spectacular so long as there is wind.

Choosing best or favourite pictures is difficult - if I look at a photo and hear the sound of the waves, I keep it.  A few do stand out, though, and this is one.  It was taken at Porth Selau - a small beach just to the south of Whitesands, which is popular with surfers.


Old Castle Head

The last ray of sunshine for 2015, over Old Castle Head on the south Pembrokeshire Coast.  A few minutes later, it was cloudy, half an hour later a heavy squall came through.  The wind had been force 6 from the south-west earlier, and was still force 5 when the photo was taken.  Trying to hold the camera still while sitting on the cliff top was quite hard work!



Pictures of the Pembrokeshire Coast: Musselwick Sands to the Nab Head on the west coast.  The waves didn't look very impressive from the cliff top (the bay was sheltered from the force 4 winds) but they were enough to tempt a few surfers out.


Strumble Head