Baby Cockroaches (Photos)

This post has sad news and happy news.

As some of you will know from Twitter, Sparkle (my pet cockroach) died recently. At just under four years old, he was an elderly cockroach, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

The result in writing terms is I’ve shelved my NaNo project for now, as writing about pet spiders was a little too close (I have been writing other things, including my main novel and a steampunk short).

I’d initially intended to wait a bit before getting another cockroach, but the weather’s only going to get colder* and the supplier is closing early this year for Christmas. So I’m now the owner of two baby cockroaches. They’re in a temporary tank for now, while I sort out their permanent homes.

And in the spirit of baby animals, baby cockroach pictures…

Gem is the boldest of the two. They went to explore the tank soon after arrival and quickly found the heat pad. Gem jumped the first time I stroked them, but wasn’t bothered the second time. I think they’ll tame pretty quickly.

Gem

Ash is rather shy, and didn’t leave the kitchen roll they arrived in for hours (and when they did, panicked and hid as soon as I came in). Ash was very skittish about being handled, but I did manage to get them to come out for long enough for the photo**.

Ash

They’re both active and some of the food has gone, so it’s a good start.

* Cockroaches arrive by mail order. Though this might seem a little odd, as you wouldn’t mail a puppy, insects don’t really mind being mailed if they’re packed properly. My experience has been they mind being disturbed on arrival far more.

** You might think the flash would bother them, but I haven’t found that to be the case. Scary monsters that pick them up are far more worrying.

Banksy Visits St. Leonards-on-Sea

The street artist Banksy was recently in my local area* – he left a picture of a child making Tesco sandcastles**. Needless to say, I went down to get some photographs. The local council stopped it from being removed by the anti-graffiti team and covered it in a clear protective screen. Other graffiti appeared around it, including some from the feud between Bansky and King Robbo.

The Tesco in St. Leonards is really big. Not compared to space, but compared to supermarket sizes. The store is some ways inland from the coast.

The Banksy itself

Banksy art: A child making Tesco sandcastles

Detail of the child

Banksy: Detail of the child

The Banksy with the beach in the background

Banksy with shingle beach in background

A crowd gathers

A crowd looking at the Banksy

* The location is St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England. If you’re in the area, here’s how you get there: starting at the Hastings / London Road side of St. Leonards, walk down the seafront past the Marina (the large building shaped like a boat).

The Banksy is on the side of one of the steps leading to the beach. It faces away from the direction you’re walking.

** Banksy has confirmed it’s one of his.

Wild Honey Bee Swarm (Photos)

Some of the honey bees are swarming in the local woodland. Given the decline of bees, it’s nice to see. It’s also fun watching people fleeing the bees for no reason (it’s not like the bees care about people being there… they’re too busy doing their swarming thing to sting anyone. I was standing right in the middle of the swarm and I wasn’t stung).

They were a little high up. If they come down lower before heading off to their new abode, I’ll try and get some better close-ups.

Unlike my usual photo posts, these are linked… click on them for the bigger version.

(I’ve also put a movie on YouTube: Watch Bees!)

I Like Rain

The whole day was full of sudden bursts of rain, like the Earth’s gardener tipping out a bucket. It was also very sunny.

There was a rainbow. I had to go out. Yes, I was very soggy.

Rainbow

But it won’t be the first or last time I’ve gone out in the rain for pictures. My camera is very forgiving. And a bit waterproof.

Puddle

As well as bucket pouring, we’ve also had a run of spiders this year. I blame the new wheely bins, as they don’t really keep out the flies. Nature did its thing. More flies = more spiders. They go and hide when the weather is cold, but anytime we have a warm spell they’re out and about. Rain means warmth in the winter.

So I went out to photograph the spiders. Whilst standing on my front path with the camera, a delivery person arrived with a parcel. I got some funny looks. I also got the parcel, but it wasn’t for me.

Spider

Rain is fun and full of spiders.