Sunday, 11 September 2011
Daddy Long Legs!
Yes - they're back. The first one appeared fastened to the outside of the kitchen window at breakfast-time this morning. They always start to appear at about this time of year.
Of course, their proper name is the Crane fly. I must say they do appear to be aerodynamically challenged with their long thin bodies, their spindly long legs and their diaphonous wings. All of which leads to me question what they are put on the earth for?
They join (for me) slugs and snails in that list of things which seem to serve no useful purpose. Except, when you think about it, a mouthful provides a decent meal for a blue tit at this time of year, when food is beginning to become scarce.
They may not be efficient at flying (they are easily blown about in the breeze) but the shape of their body means that they are super-efficient at laying their eggs in the ground. These eggs, which develop into larvae - called leatherjacks (for obvious reasons) make the staple food for many birds in winter, not least the rook from my poem of yesterday. These leather jackets eat through roots and destroy plants so the more that are eaten the better.
I suppose I have answered my own question 'What are they for?' - they are all part of life's rich pattern and as such we must tolerate them hanging about on our windows. Windows certainly seem to attract them and once there they tend to die there and cling on, waving about in the breeze until the window cleaner calls again.
The farmer took a series of photographs of this chap during breakfast. Each time the reflection of the glass spoiled the image until I got the idea of holding up the slate teapot stand against the glass. He went out three times without a single moan. What it is to be married to such an equable man!