The 18th of February this year was a surprisingly warm day. It felt like spring and it looked like winter.
Early in the afternoon, I drove about forty kilometers to the woods and meadows in the area around the small town called Svetvinchenat, and I spent an hour photographing insects, spiders, and fallen leaves along the edge of a small oak grove. In this opening shot, you can see a moth larva. The name of the species is Amata phegea. Amata phegea is a diurnal moth from the Erebidae family. The larvae feed mostly on mosses, lichens, old rotting plant parts, algae, and soft parts of fresh green plants.
In this wide shot, you can take a look at the carpet made of fallen leaves on which the hairy Amata phegea caterpillar was found.
Some spiders were also active on that winter afternoon.
This is definitively a spider from the genus Pardosa in the Lycosidae family, but I can't tell you the name of the species. I saw many spiders of this species, but I photographed only one because they weren't easy to catch. The spiders were mostly running around, and they were running very fast from shelter to shelter, appearing on the foliage for a second or two and then disappearing underneath it in a blink of an eye.
The branches of some trees were still abundantly covered with brown leaves.
You can see one such tree here. The trunk, enveloped in ivy, was green while the branches had an autumnal color. A lovely, stylish combination.
In this photograph, the focus is on only two of the many fallen leaves down on the ground.
Here you can see a planthopper nymph resting on the edge of the leaf. Issus coleoptratus is the name of the species.
On another leaf, I found a small protuberance. It looks like one of the galls, created through the activity of some small wasps from the Cynipidae family.
Here you can see the same thing photographed in natural light. Getting a macro shot like this with the flash is easier, but more often than not, things look better in ambient light. In the following photograph ...
... you can see another spider. The Pisaura mirabilis from the Pisauridae family.
This one was calmly resting on the fallen leaves, which made getting these shots very easy.
Here you can see the pattern formed by the fallen leaves of the oak trees mixed with the green leaves of ivy and fresh new oaks, recently developed from the acorns.
Here you can see the small leaf of a climbing plant or shrub ...
... that has fallen on the much bigger oak leaf, creating a very photogenic autumnal arrangement. I mean. I know that this is a winter post, but scenes like this one, have a strong autumnal atmosphere.
Here you can see a bunch of tiny galls, another product of the Cynipidae activities.
This Amata phegea caterpillar ...
... was chewing the damaged edge of a small green leaf on one of the many oak saplings scattered on the terrain along the edge of the grove.
Here you can take a look at the trees under which the caterpillar was photographed.
Here I came even closer to the winter feeding action. in the following shot ...
... the scene was photographed in natural light.
About a hundred meters further ...
... I found a shield bug among the fallen leaves.
This is the Peribalus strictus, a bug from the large and varied Pentatomidae family.
I also found a flower in that area.
The Crocus reticulatus.
Soon I found another flower. This one was more open ...
... so now, you can take a good, up-close look at some details surrounded by petals.
And that's it. I have nothing else to show today.
The following links will take you to the sites with more information about some of the protagonists of this post. I found some stuff about them there.
AS ALWAYS HERE ON HIVE, THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE MY WORK.