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I took myself off on a long walk yesterday afternoon, no backpack full of camera gear, just my point ‘n’ shoot in my hand, intending to walk not look for critters. But, no sooner had I got to the start of the walk proper than the critters began presenting themselves, and I began to feel rather like a voyeur.

160516 Harlequin Ladybirds

First it was the Harlequin ladybirds, on the very top leaves of a bramble so hard to miss, and three of them. Was the second female waiting her turn, basking in the afterglow, or something of a voyeur herself?

160516 Green Dock Beetle

A metallic flash on the neighbouring bush caught my eye and there were a couple of Green dock beetles, also getting into the swing of spring, though I think the male was a little confused as to how to go about things. He won’t accomplish much just riding on the female’s back.

160516 crane flies

Further on, I bent down to re-tie my shoelace and what should I see but two Crane flies, making more Crane flies.

160516 Long-horned black legionnaire

And I almost stood on these final two, blatantly having it off in the middle of the footpath. I think they’re Long-horned black legionnaire beetles**, though I’m not entirely sure. They, like all the other minibeasts, were certainly feeling stimulated by the Sunday sunshine.

** Many thanks to Paul Challinor. These are actually St Mark’s flies (Bibio marci).