One Down, One to Go

An Ashy Mining Bee (Andrena cinerea)

Dear Readers, I was woken up at 5 a.m. by the magpie this morning, goodness only knows what s/he was on about but as I had an exam today I could have done without it for sure. Still, the exam went pretty well I think, even though at the end I managed to upload a blank version of my answers and had a very anxious hour while the OU sorted it out (Gawd bless them). Don’t ask me what I did, but at least I found it immediately – it’s so easy to assume that there’s only one version of something, when in fact there are several laying about waiting to trip you up. 

And then I wandered out into the garden to admire my climbing hydrangea, and look! There’s an ashy mining bee. I was only wondering where they’d gone yesterday, and now at least one of them is back. I wrote about them back in 2018, and there are some rather better photos of them here. How this little bee cheered me up! it reminds me of why I want to study science in the first place.

There are some rather pollen-covered bumblebees around as well, and lots of honeybees.

And then in the front garden, trying to pretend that she wasn’t conspicuous on the purple toadflax, was this crab spider. I think that the abdomen looks rather like a very small leather armchair. See what you think.

I wrote about these spiders recently too, so here I’ll just note that apparently they are most unsuccessful hunters (with a hit rate of only 3.5%), but that posing on a flower that is completely the wrong colour doesn’t actually worsen the situation. Last time I spotted a bright yellow crab spider, but this is the other common colour morph, so now I have a full set. It’s the little things that make me feel grounded and happy every time.

Not the most inconspicuous of spiders….

4 thoughts on “One Down, One to Go

  1. Kathleen

    I love the crab spiders, thanks for posting the photos. Good luck with the next exam (I completed my OU degree just over 10 years ago, so I know how stressful those exams can be!)


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