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!

18 comments:

Tom Stephenson said...

Well at least you know what the Farmer was put on this earth for, Weaver.

Mary said...

We get a few here too - and for some reason they always remind me of my childhood as they seemed more prolific in England and somehow often got inside the house, but of course were harmless.

Thanks for the details - I didn't know all this about such a dainty fellow. Thankfully I've also got one of those guys who will 'collect' any unwelcome bugs in this house, ha! ha!

Mary X

Heather said...

All due credit to the farmer for his excellent photograph. Not the prettiest of insects but as you say it provides food for birds now and when it's eggs become leatherjackets. I don't like daddy long legs when they fly in through the bedroom window and flap around my face when I'm sitting up in bed reading.

Pondside said...

I won't be able to look at these pre-historic-looking creatures in quite the same, casual way anymore.

Rachel said...

They bite me and leave a huge lump and so I am not keen on them. We gets lots and if you leave a door or window open at night and the lights on at this time of the year they fly in. And the rest is history....

angryparsnip said...

Is that the Farmer reflected ? or just my bad eyes... What a good man he is.
I often wonder why certain, bugs, snails and animals were put on this earth. For me it is pack rats, why ?
but just the other day the beautiful Cooper Hawk that hangs out around my home was carrying one off for lunch. So I had my answer.
We have "Stick Bugs" that look like a twig with legs no wings.... maybe a cousin to your Crane Fly ?

cheers, parsnip

Crafty Green Poet said...

We like crane flies though when they come into the flat, Crafty Green Boyfriend will help them to escape

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ours look a wee bit different, but every bit as creepy. My husband is sympathetic towards them and, whenever one manages to get inside, always grabs the fellow by its overlong legs and removes it to the garden... my squealing like a girl the entire time.

Fall is the time for spiders though, and I rather like that.

H said...

At this time of year, because it tends to be quite warm in the evenings, I leave my patio door wide open while the light is on inside. I don't mean to: I forget!You can guess what happens!

Most annoying is when they find their way into the bedroom and start to bat around inside the light shade while I am reading. So noisy!

Titus said...

Oh no! Like H, the noise drives me batty! I also hate the way they settle and hang from the ceiling.

Now Weaver, have you found anything useful about the slug?

ANGLESEY ALLSORTS said...

Fancy that.... I didn't know they were leatherjackets. I'snt this blogging a wonderful thing...I learn new things everyday!

Vicky x

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Great picture - there seems to be so many now clinging to our walls and windows.
XX

Dartford Warbler said...

They are hatching out here as well. Good food for birds they may be, but I don`t like to be trapped in a room with one!

Nora said...

My dog very conveniently eats the ones that get trapped in the bedroom. I owe him a lot.

patteran said...

Interesting nuggets here, Pat. Our daddy-longlegs have all but disappeared.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting about earning something new every day - I had no idea that daddy long legs could bite.

I love Tom's comment about the farmer too!

Thanks for the replies.

Dave King said...

I'm doing a bit of catching up, and glad I am - you've uncorked a memory, and may have given me my next poem, for which much thanks. Excellent post, by the way.

Mary Elizabeth said...

Beautiful picture of a not-so-beautiful bug!!
Everything has a purpose doesn't it!