Every time I’ve been to photograph bluebells, I’ve got distracted by something else. This time I hadn’t even taken a single photograph of a bluebell before the camera’s memory card was becoming full with photographs of this cranefly!

It sat very still on the moss and liverwort covered rocks by the river, which seemed to be crowded with all sorts of interesting insects. They were all over, dropping down from the trees above, buzzing past through the air and crawling out from their hiding places amongst the new thick, bright green vegetation that has finally emerged now the weather has warmed up and it has become more like Spring.

Cranefly 3

One of the characteristics of the order Diptera, which craneflies belong to, is the hind wings, or halteres, which are short thin sticks with a rounded end that are used for balance during flight. One can just be seen on the cranefly in the photograph above, beneath the wing at the front and behind the second leg.

The cranefly looked quite huge compared to everything else that was buzzing about around it. When the little fly to the left of the photograph below landed right in front of the cranefly momentarily, before quickly hurrying away, it provided a nice size comparison…

Cranefly 1

As well as the many various insects that were busy flying between pretty wildflowers including the bluebells, which are now flowering in abundance amongst greater stitchworts, wild garlic and red campion along the riverbank and throughout the woodland, there were dippers and sandpipers on the river and oystercatchers calling overhead.

With all these insects and wildflowers out there’s lots of interesting things to photograph at the moment without even looking very hard!