27 June, 2016

Unexpected tenants

I remember my elation when we were first given a tour around our student house and I found out that my bedroom had its own balcony. I zoned out for the rest of the viewing, not listening to a word the landlord was saying, and instead imagined all the ways I could turn the balcony into a wildlife haven. "There will be a couple of pots of Red Valerian here, some Verbena over there, and maybe a little wildlife pond in that corner" I pondered to myself, whilst the landlord discussed the terms and conditions of our contract with my housemates.

Fast forward to now, a few days before our contract runs out, and the balcony looks worse than it did when we took the house. My elaborate plans for it never materialised, and whilst the balcony has been a lovely spot to catch some evening rays, its wildlife value remains minimal.

Yes, those are traffic cones. We should probably give them back. 

Despite my lack of intervention, last week I lifted up a large paving slab and found these two fantastic beetles sheltering underneath. Whether they'd been on the balcony for a while, or were simply waiting out a rain shower will remain a mystery, but whatever their origin it's surprising to see them utilise such a meagre patch of habitat. Hopefully their tenancy wasn't too uncomfortable!

Chlaenius vestitus

Lesser Stag Beetle


Unknown said...

Looks like you have been brewing something in that bottle too.

Unless it's your pooter, then I do apologise.

Billy Dykes said...

Ha! The university had a couple of unappreciated apple trees, I had some time to procrastinate - it seemed only right to brew scrumpy!