Monday, September 9, 2013

I made my excuses and left ........

The compost bin at the bottom of our garden recycles all our vegetable-based kitchen waste and every time I lift the lid it reveals a new population of animals, most of them small ........



.... like this hairy little owl midge, about three millimetres long. 




This minute juvenile woodlouse, also just a few millimetres long and looking like it's not old enough to be out on its own, was lurking under the bin lid. To give some idea of how small it was, compared with a full-sized woodlouse ....

........... here's a slightly larger juvenile (about three times the size of the one above), under the watchful compound eyes of a full grown woodlouse.
























The prize for the most numerous insects in the compost bin must go to these minute flies, smaller than the owl midges, that breed with amazing speed and in incredible numbers on the decaying fruit and vegetable peelings. Every time I lift the lid I have to step back as a small cloud of them takes to the air. I rarely see singleton flies of this species, because they seem to be ......



































.... perpetually mating, in this push-me-pull-you conformation.

When I was a callow youth I used to frequent a barber's shop where they always had a pile Reveille and Tit-bits magazines for customers to leaf through while they waited for a trim. For those unfamiliar with these fine publications (long-since defunct),they specialised in 'tasteful' glamour photos of ladies who seem to be having trouble keeping their clothes on, together with sensational and highly improbable stories (of the 'My ordeal amongst cannibals' variety), Daily Express style editorials about the country going to the dogs ('What has happened to our national pride?) and investigative journalism that lifted the lid on the licentious behaviour of the ruling classes. The latter always involved intrepid undercover reporters visiting sordid establishments in Soho, witnessing goings-on that mostly seemed to involve clergymen, Members of Parliament and burlesque dancers ..........


































.......... engaged in this sort of activity. 

The pay-off line for such stories was almost always "disgusted, your reporter made his excuses and left". 

Which is what I did after I lowered the compost bin lid on these three and plunged them back into darkness.


2 comments:

  1. A brilliant read over my breakfast. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Lately, every trip to the compost bin is an adventure Adrian ...

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