Tuesday
Dec082009

Mayfly

Back in early May I was walking to the town centre with Zoe and, unusually for me, I had my camera with me (I rarely take it when I go into the town).  All along Kennetside there were lots these mayflies on the path, and we had to take care not to step on them.  I later identified them as Ephemera danica (Ephemeroptera: Ephemeridae). According to this page at the Ephemeroptera Recording Scheme, this species is distinguished from the similar E. vulgata and E.lineata by having large dark markings only on the last 3 abdominal segement.

Photo taken at Kennetside, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-04.

Monday
Dec072009

How To Repressurize Your Central Heating 

Last week I noticed that the central heating pressure gauge on our gas boiler was low.  I had recently bled some of the radiators and had not realized the need to repressurize the system after doing so (see here for a good explanation).  However, although the boiler user instruction manual mentioned the need to repessurize, it did not give any details on how to do it.  I even looked at the installation manual, but that was rather forbidding with all its warnings about requiring competent, qualified engineers.  I was just about to phone for a plumber when it occurred to me to do a search for a solution on the web.  To my delight I found a Youtube video which explained exactly what I needed to do: "Filling Boiler Worcester Greenstar combi". Thank you Abbey Mead Heating!

Monday
Dec072009

Yellow and Brown Caterpillar

A caterpillar, probably of the mottled umber moth, Erannis defoliaria (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). This specimen is one of the lighter variants of this caterpillar (there are some good photos here at ukleps.org).  In this species the adult females are completely wingless.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-10.

Sunday
Dec062009

Hoverfly

A female Episyrphus balteatus (Diptera: Syrphidae) on a buttercup (Ranunculus sp.).

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-24.

Saturday
Dec052009

Orange Cranefly

A limoniid cranefly, Limonia phragmitidis (Diptera: Limoniidae). The orange body and the three dark spots on the leading edge of the wings seem to be the distinguishing marks of this species.

Photo taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading University grounds, Reading, UK, on 2009-05-22.