Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Animal (no birds)

There’s not a lot of large animals prowling the streets of Finchley. Sure, we have foxes but they are largely nocturnal. There’s always the neighbourhood cats but it’s been a bit too warm for them to be out and about this week – they’re probably sunning themselves on someone’s garden decking 😉 If it was football season I’d probably be able to photograph a couple of non-league dogs with their humans but there’s still a couple of weeks to go. So I’m afraid my black & white animals are going to be insects.

Lets start with an insect that has probably caused more screams than Monsters Inc. – The Crane Fly. Along with Harvestmen and spiders it gets a bad rap largely because of that old children’s ditty ‘Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-legged beasties’…etc. If I had a £1 for every time I’ve had to go into a tent at Scout camp to evict one of these after the occupants have carried out a panic evacuation I’d be quite a few pints of beer better off! This particular one is Tipula vernalis and it’s one of the largest……but like all Crane Flies it’s totally harmless!

Now we’ve got the bad guy out of the way we can look towards some of those we appreciate for their beauty. Here’s a Six spot Burnet moth feeding on Creeping Thistle……there was a colour shot of one of these in my previous post.

And a contra-jour shot of a Comma butterfly resting on Brambles……it hasn’t been savaged by a bird or Dragonfly – it’s wings are supposed to look ragged and are a very helpful identification feature 🙂 A colour version will follow when I get around to doing a Butterflies post.

Catch up with Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge Here.


    1. Patient yes but not very quick as most insects do stop to feed or rest quite regularly. The odd one out was the Comma which only let me get off the one shot before it was on its way again. It’s more about stalking the ‘prey’ than speed 😉

  1. Nice work, Martin. I am not familiar with Crane flies. I first thought it might be a mosquito. But I enjoyed your rendition of how it terrorizes young and old. LOL! I’m not easily bothered by insects. Rodents can send me screaming in panic, but insects fascinate me. I’ve been enjoying the photos you share, in particular several that I’ve never seen before. Very nice work, indeed!

    1. Thanks Debra 🙂 That Crane Fly is big compared with mosquitoes – its body is about one inch long! You do have Crane Flies in California so keep an eye out for them 🙂

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