Well we go up to the woods actually, but it was a 'beauteous evening calm and free' and Offspringette is working locally and staying for a few days, so we set off for a walk this evening to see if the bluebells were ready yet...On the way we met Alexander the Second..
Diagnosis confirms that this might be an Oil Beetle...special features...
The female oil beetle lays thousands of eggs into holes in the ground, and these hatch into larvae which sit around on flowers waiting to jump on board a passing bee. They then get a lift back to the bees nest where they feed on the bee larvae.
When alarmed, the adult oil beetles can release a foul smelling oil - hence the name.
And it would seem we can now take part in a national Oil Beetle survey complete with identification chart. I'm veering towards a female Violet Oil Beetle...or perhaps a Black Oil Beetle, what do you think... are those antennae kinked, or very kinked??
The bluebells are not quite at their peak but we crunched on through the woods, completely at peace and then jumped a mile at what sounded like a machine gun overhead but was in fact a solitary and very echoey woodpecker, and then jumped another mile when we heard a thundering of hooves.
And there was Bambi...
and we all sat and stared at each other for about half an hour which is unheard of as a deer usually disappears as fast as a fox.
Another very magical moment we both agreed as we walked on home for a pot of tea.