Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus)

Crested Tit or Topmejse in Danish was formerly known (at least to me) as Parus cristatus.

Flickr Link

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) or Kvækerfinke in Danish is one of the bird species that invades Denmark from the northern parts of Scandinavia during wintertime.

Flickr Link

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Red deer - Kronhjort (Cervus elaphus)

I have recently written a blog description about the flock of red deers that lives at Holbæk Naturskole at Holbæk Slots Ladegård. This slideshow supplements the pictures used in the blog

Flickr Link

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Cucumber "Crystal lemon" (Cucumis sativum)

I blogged about my favourite cucumber, the yellow "Crystal lemon", in the early spring 2008. Here are some more images.

Flickr Link

Monday, 3 August 2009

Mute Swan (Cygnus Olor) at our local mill pond

A pair of mute swans live at the mill pond at our local water mill in Bruunshaab. Last year they succeeded in raising a very large brood. Most of the following images is taken on a quiet and sunny evening in august last year.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Gedeblad, Honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium)

During an autumn storm some years ago, one of the pine trees in my garden toppled. The pine tree has now been overgrown with honeysuckle, which produces a fragrant flower display every summer.

Flickr Link

Friday, 31 July 2009

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is an ambitious project to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth. To cite from its homepage:

At its [EOL’s] heart lies a series of Web sites—one for each of the approximately 1.8 million known species—that provide the entry points to this vast array of knowledge. The entry-point for each site is a species page suitable for the general public, but with several linked pages aimed at more specialized users. The sites sparkle with text and images that are enticing to everyone, as well as providing deep links to specific data.

The EOL dynamically synthesizes biodiversity knowledge about all known species, including their taxonomy, geographic distribution, collections, genetics, evolutionary history, morphology, behavior, ecological relationships, and importance for human well being, and distribute this information through the Internet. It serves as a primary resource for a wide audience that includes scientists, natural resource managers, conservationists, teachers, and students around the world. We believe that the EOL's encompassing scope and innovation will have a major global impact in facilitating biodiversity research, conservation, and education.

The EOL staff is made up of scientists and non-scientists working from museums and research institutions around the world.

As mentioned, on EOL the aim is to make a homepage for each species with description and images. Currently, many of the images are of Danish origin via Bio-pix. The amount of information presented is targeted to the users preferences, e.g., users may select information for beginners or for experts.

As part of this project a collaboration has been started with users on Flickr. A Flickr group, Encyclopedia of Life Images has been started. The group was started to allow anyone to provide images for the Encyclopedia of Life web site. The group welcomes images and scientific illustrations of organisms or their signs (tracks, nests, etc.), as well as videos. The group has defined standards for image tags to secure that species information can be found automatically. Images posted in this group is transferred automatically to the EOL database. At the start the images are only visible to expert users, but after a review of the images they will become visible to all EOL users.

Thus, an ordinary Flick'er user, as I am, may now contribute to the EOL project. I simply identify the species in my images, e.g., an image of the common buzzard is tagged with "taxonomy:binomial=Buteo buteo". Then I post it in the Encyclopedia of Life Images group, and a couple of days later, the image can be seen on the EOL-page for the species. Currently, more than 30,000 thousand images have been posted by more than 1200 Flickr users participating in the group.

The slideshow below shows the images I have included in the Encyclopedia of Life Images group.

Flickr Link

Grass snake (Natrix natrix)

I live close to a stream, which is an ideal environment for the grass or water snake. My garden produces a menu containing lots of frogs and toads, thus the snakes are well-served. Usually, I see snakes of varying size a couple of times each year, either resting in the sun or hunting frogs. (I never thought a frog could scream before I heard one fleeing hhunted by a snake). This year I succeeded in locating a resting place for a snake, and was lucky enough to get quite close to the snake. It stayed for a couple of days, but I have not seen it since.

Flickr Link

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Ichneumon wasp (Dolichomitus imperator) laying egg

I was lucky to be present when an ichneumon wasp had just started laying eggs (ovipositioning). As far as I have been able to find out the species must be Dolichomitus imperator, but that may be a mistake. I took a series of pictures showing how it struggled to bore the huge ovipositor down in the wood, probably hitting an unsuspecting larvae, that will serve as a meal-package for the hopefull offspring of the wasp. The ovipositor is usually protected by a sheath that is visible on some of the pictures.

The slide show covers a duration of little less than 10 minutes

I have made a blog entry in Danish on my Bruunshåb blog telling a little bit more about the images

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Giant Horntail (Urocerus gigas)

Last summer this giant horntail or wood wasp landed on my wooden terrace, and I managed to take some pictures. The giant horntail is really giant, but it is not as frightful as it seems. The long projecting spike, that has given the horntail its name is not used for stinging. The female horntails lay their eggs in trees/wood. The larvae bore into the wood and live in the tree for up to 2 years, possibly more. They typically migrate to just under the bark before pupation. Actually, the ichneumon wasp shown elsewhere may be targeting a larvae of this giant horntail. The latin name Sirex gigas has also been used for this species.

I have made a blog entry in Danish on my Bruunshåb blog telling a little bit more about the images

Flickr Link

Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa)

Flickr Link

Monday, 29 June 2009

Common Scorpionfly (Panorpa communis)

Until this spring I had only seen a scorpion fly in a book. I knew they were weird looking. Then I took a photo of a fly with black band on the wing. When I compared the photo with my books, I could see that it was a scorpion fly. Since then I cannnot walk around in my garden without seing scorpion flies. Even when I take a walk in the wood I see lots and lots of scorpion flies.

In the slide show you can see some of them, the male is the one with the scorpion like tail. The strange head reminds me of the "Spy vs. Spy" cartoon in the Mad Magazine.

Flickr Link

Horned Stag Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricus)

I found this Horned Stag Beetle (valsehjort in Danish) in my greenhouse. I succeeded in fetching my camera before it fund the opportunity to fly away. The first photos are from the greenhouse. The rest of the photos are taken in the evening after the beetle had been chilled in the refrigerator and the batteries for the flash had been recharged.

Flickr Link

Friday, 5 June 2009

Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis)

A couple of these hawk-moths have been visited my garden recently. I have seen them visiting both my dwarf korean lilac (Syringa meyeri) and my Salvia officinalis. They are a little hard to get. I used my Olympus E510 with the 50 mm f2 macro attached, and the FL50 flash.

Flickr Link

Saturday, 14 February 2009