Tag Archives: Insects

Educated Fleas

I thought that I would take Fizz up in the fields and take her picture in amongst the Dandelions…

Fizz

FizzBut I became distracted.

This is St Mark’s Fly (Bibio marci)

St Mark's FlyWe call it that because they all emerge around about the same time, April the twenty fifth and that is St Mark’s Day. They are a little bit late this year.

These first picture are of the male. He has large eyes and clear wings, also very long back legs that hang below him in flight. Last year I searched in vain for a female of the species. They look quite different.

The problem is that the adults only live for about a week and as they all emerge at the same time there is very little opportunity to see them.

St Mark's FlyAnd there she was, distracting me… I forgot all about Fizz.

St Mark's FlyShe has small eyes , she is a little bit longer than the male and has dark wings.

St Mark's FlyBut even though she looks so different I am quite confident that this is the female of the species.

St Mark's Fly

St Mark's FlyI have heard it said that the male has such big eyes so that he can find the female and that is quite believable. I had a lot of trouble finding her.

The Dandelions are beginning to fade now.

FizzThe Buttercups are just starting to appear.

As soon as the Dandelions go these fields will fill with Buttercups.Buttercup

ButtercupIt looks like these fields are going to be grown for silage again this year, the grass is already too long for Sheep. That is good because for a few months we will get long grass and lots of wildflowers and all of the associated insects.

I will leave you with the firework display called Ribwort Plantain.

Ribwort Plantain

Ribwort Plantain

Ribwort Plantain

Ribwort Plantain

Ribwort Plantain

 

Interesting things you can do with a Butterfly

Butterflies are not just for looking at ๐Ÿ™‚

This is a post for the friends that I have made in the last few months, friends who have never seen this blog in the summertime.

Winter is so difficult for nature bloggers, it’s a wonder that we post anything. There is a different world coming and it is beautiful.

Butterflies have been big in my world this weekend. On Saturday I discovered a beautiful Small Tortoiseshell overwintering in my flat.

Small Tortoiseshell

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day here and while I was out a Comma flew in front of me.

This isn’t the one that I saw yesterday, that was over a hedge and lost in a field almost as soon as I saw it. This is just a picture of another Comma.
CommaIt is still much too early for Butterflies, there are no nectar plants about yet but it is okay they will just go back to sleep for a bit.

The Butterflies will be here in four weeks. It isn’t very long to wait.

It is not very unusual to see Butterflies here in the winter. Whilst many species overwinter as Caterpillars or as a Chrysalis we have five local species that overwinter as adult butterflies and they can wake up and have a little fly around on any warm winters day.

The other three are: The Red Admiral.

Red Admiral

The Brimstone.BrimstoneThe Peacock.

Peacock Butterfly

So what can you do with Butterflies besides look at them?

You can abduct them and raise them as your own ๐Ÿ™‚

The Small Tortoiseshell is probably the first one that you will find.

Small Tortoiseshell LarvaThese are little yellow caterpillars that live in colonies on Stinging Nettles. If you want to try raising Butterflies in a different part of the world, pick a species that has an easy to obtain food plant, they eat a lot.

I made some mistakes when raising these and so I shall share the wisdom gained.

I chose large caterpillars, thinking that they would be quicker to raise than little ones. Most of my Caterpillars died and it wasn’t that much fun.

They died because they had already been attacked before I found them. In the wild there are a lot of insects that lay their eggs in Caterpillars and the larva grow inside and eat the Caterpillar.

This is a Tachinid fly injecting it’s eggs into a Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillar.

Tachinid

Pelatachina tibialis, Nasty little beast.
Pelatachina tibialisSo I did successfully raise Small Tortoiseshells but it wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped. Lesson Learnt, I went out to collect some Peacock Larvae.

Take the smallest ones that you can find, the less time they have been in the wild the less chance that they will have been got at.

Peacocks are the little black ones that also live on Stinging Nettles.

Peacock LarvaI only took a few, I thought, it turned out that I had about forty in my little jar and from those I released thirty three Butterflies, many more than would have made it if I had left them in the wild.

Peacock LarvaNow you can buy Butterfly raising kits. I don’t really like these. The most common species is the Painted Lady and this is because the Painted Lady can eat artificial food. So you generally get five little Caterpillars in ย a jar and the bottom of the jar is smeared with artificial food, there is a piece of paper under the lid for them to attach themselves to and the jar is otherwise empty.

This is a horrible way to raise Caterpillars, in an empty jar. It deprives them of their youth. I am going to show you that Caterpillars are lively, intelligent animals. They have a social structure and they get great joy from swinging about in the jungle that is their home.

This is how I am going to do it.

Make them a home.

Caterpillar HouseThe tray of mud is because the nettles will need water but I can’t put them in water or the Caterpillars will drown themselves.

Caterpillar House

Caterpillar HouseThat is it. You don’t really have to worry about the Caterpillars escaping, they will stay on the food plant so long as you keep them provided with fresh greens.

I admit, I came down one morning and found this.

Peacock LarvaWhat on earth is going on here?

We are going to join the circus.

You bloomin’ well are not!

They had plenty of leaves they just weren’t fresh enough for them. You do have to keep on top of them.

Most of the time they like to hang together.

Peacock LarvaAlthough you do get the odd little one that has a mind of it’s own.

Peacock LarvaThey grow very quickly and they moult their skin four times. Each time that they moult there is a bigger and more beautiful Caterpillar inside.

Peacock LarvaThose are not dead baby Caterpillars in the next picture, they are just the discarded skins. The little black spots are called frasse and they are Caterpillar poo. They eat a lot, so guess what else they do a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

Peacock LarvaYou need to clean them out regularly as well as change their leaves.

Peacock Larva

Peacock LarvaIt won’t be long before you want to take these beautiful animals out for a photo shoot.

Peacock Larva

Peacock Larva

Peacock LarvaNow things are about to get interesting and we have a problem.

When they are in their final moult they will decide to leave the food plant. They are going to shed their skin one more time but this time there will be a chrysalis inside and so now they have done eating and they need to spread out.

My solution was to put them in my kitchen cupboard. (This might be a problem if you live with a partner)

Peacock Larva nest

Peacock LarvaMy clever little animals knew what was expected of them and they hung themselves all around their new home.

Peacock Larva

Peacock Larva

Watch the Caterpillar shed it’s skin one last time. I have speeded this up X4 because the whole process took six minutes.

The Caterpillars now make themselves a little sticky pad of silk to hang from and the most critical moment of this final moult is the very last bit when the chrysalis must abandon it’s old skin and attach itself to the silk pad. That is what all the twisting at the end of this video is about.


What happens now is a miracle. The Caterpillar will completely dissolve inside it’s chrysalis, only a few cells remain and from these cells a Butterfly grows. Something really wonderful.

Peacock Chrysalis

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock ButterflyThis next video is speeded up x2.


Now I just have to show you how to pick up a Butterfly and then we can let them go.

Never touch it’s wings. They are covered with very fine scales that will be displaced if you try to pick it up that way, the Butterfly needs these scales, they are not just for shimmering colour.

Put your hand in front of the Butterfly and invite it to step on.

Orange TipSo long as you are known to the Butterflies this works every time.

If the Butterflies don’t know who you are then try rescuing a Butterfly Princess from the long grass, this will earn you a reputation ย as a friend of the Butterflies and then it will be easy.

Green-veined White

Green-veined WhiteNow it is time to say goodbye.

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Peacock ButterflyToday the sun is shining and it feels like April. Fizz and I are going to look for Butterflies.

Sunday (Phew! What a Scorcher)

Now, I have sat down here to write a post for you and beside me there is a steaming mug of black coffee and a large glass of whiskey. This is not good, I don’t do my best writing when I am drinking black coffee. I have taken a sensible precaution and I have written “Don’t Ramble” on the back of my hand in Biro. So now if you are sitting comfortably, I will begin….

Scorcher

Yesterdayย started well. Saturday had been as warm as a late Spring day and Sunday looked just as promising. So we had to ask ourselves, “what will we do with all of this sunshine?” We can scour the woods for fungi when it’s raining, we decided to go and look for butterflies instead.

It was a long shot given the time of year but if it was going to happen it would be on a day like this.

Well we didn’t see any. In fact it was just a sunny winter’s day and not spring at all and in winter everything that isn’t dead is asleep.

So that’s that.

The End.

FizzOkay now I am rubbing the word “Don’t” off the back of my hand with spit.

Why on earth did I think we would find butterflies on the last day of November?

There are five British butterflies that overwinter as adults and that means that throughout the whole winter these delicate little insects will be outside, even when the streams freeze up and stop moving and frost covers everything in long crystals.

On any warm winter day they can and do wake up and they have a little stretch and bask in the sun for an hour before going back to sleep. These five will be the first to welcome the spring.

I will show them to you.

Three pictures of the Brimstone because I don’t think that I have had it on the blog yet. Not very flashy wings but it has a lovely photogenic face.

Brimstone Butterfly

Brimstone Butterfly

Brimstone ButterflyThe other beautiful animals are…

Comma
Comma Butterfly

Red Admiral
Red Admiral Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Peacock
Peacock ButterflyAll of these animals emerge in the summer sun and they are like teenagers, they don’t have any responsibilities. All that they do is drink nectar and enjoy the sun. Somehow when summer ends they have to survive the winter and when spring comes they will have to learn about territories and breeding. Well, that can be fun too.

It was a long shot but we could have seen any of these butterflies.

Anyway this isn’t going to be a post about any of these, this is a post about the Orange Tip and somewhere there is probably a reason.

This morning I wrote a couple of posts for my Easy Wildflowers Blog. They were both about Strawberries (of sorts) The Wild Strawberry….

Wild StrawberryAnd the Barren Strawberry.

Barren StrawberryPretty easy to tell apart, the real strawberry has a yellow dome in the centre of the flower.

Whilst I was researching the species I came across this interesting bit of information, you can tell the species apart because on the leaf of the Barren Strawberry the tooth at the tip of the leaf is smaller than the teeth either side of it. (True)

Barren StrawberryWhereas on the Wild Strawberry it um…isn’t (particularly)

Wild StrawberryDid you know that?

I think that there are easier ways to separate the plants but it is all good.

Wild Strawberry

Wild StrawberryThe other good way to tell if it is a real Wild Strawberry is to wait and see if Bananas grow on it. Wild Strawberries are really small and Bananas are far away.

OOOh! That coffee is kicking in.

Anyway I digress. While I was checking out my pictures of Strawberries I happened to notice some other pictures of Orange Tips and the Orange Tip is a butterfly. Do you get the connection?

The Orange Tip was sitting on my hand. Over the last few days I have become involved with a bird that might sit on my hand and so the Orange Tip struck a chord.

Robins are pesky birds.

I made the mistake recently of not identifying this bird, it is a European Robin. In the UK this is probably the most recognised and most loved bird that we have. I have got a love of these animals.

Robin

Robin

RobinThey hang around my flat and try and steal my stuff. Over the last few days I have been trying to get one to feed from my hand and so that is why I decided to write a post about the Orange Tip.

Everybody loves the Robin Redbreast. It is an audacious little bird and approaches men and seems friendly.

Male Robins will not tolerate each other and they fight to the death. I have read that up to ten per cent of all Robin deaths may be down to robinicide, they are little psychopaths, they are killers but they are fine with other species.

RobinSo anyway, as I was saying, When I first arrived here I was quickly accepted because of my affinity with animals. I know what they like to eat.

Everybody was happy because I brought Robins with me (Meal worms). The old fellow even started stealing my photographs to put on his wall…..

PhotographThen the Goldfinches arrived (Sunflower hearts)

Goldfinch CharmThese birds are so sweet and charming and as they had never been here before I received a request to stop feeding the Robins in case they chased the Goldfinches away.

Like Goldfinches can’t look after themselves ๐Ÿ™‚

The bird wears war paint.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

GoldfinchI have been feeding the Robins by my back door and recently I have begun to think that I could get them feeding from my hand, which would be very nice.

So little animals in my hand was on my mind when I looked through my library for strawberry pictures and that is when I saw the Orange Tip.

Now, keeping in mind the need to be precise and avoid rambling, I just need to tell you about how little animals came to be in my hands in the first place.

Blue tit chickBack in the olden days when I first started hanging out in woods the animals were very friendly.

Some of them were a bit too friendly and it seemed like they just couldn’t get enough of me.

Mosquitosย What you are looking at there is probably the second most dangerous animal in the world. Mosquitoes kill more people than all of the Tigers and Great Whites and Crocodiles and everything else that you can think of put together.

The only thing worse than a Mosquito is me and my kind.

Still I quite like them. I understand that it is only the females that take my blood and they only do it because they need the protein to make their eggs and Mosquitoes love their children as much as we love ours.

Horse Flies on the other hand are just mean.

Horse FlyYou don’t even feel a Mozzie, they are masters of stealth but Horse Flies have mouth parts that slash and rip flesh and you get instant pain.

Ouch

Ouch! That had to hurt.HorseShut up! Who asked you?

Being quite green (Naive rather than environmental) my solution was Deet.

DeetIt is very effective. It works by creating a smell that is really offensive to insects and for a couple of years I lived in an insect free world.

One day my bottle of Deet just stopped working. It had always worked and then it just stopped. Why would that happen?

On my first day without Deet I got this photograph.

Red AdmiralThat was the day that I realised that the best way to approach insects might not be to cover myself in insect repellent. I have never worn it since.

So to get to the subject of this post.

The Orange tip is a lovely spring butterfly.

Orange TipIt is very common in the spring time and easy to recognise, you can spot them a mile off.

Orange Tip

Orange TipThe female of the species is a different matter. She doesn’t have the orange tips, she is just white and there are a few small white butterflies around at that time of year. I desperately wanted to photograph the female.

Every little white butterfly that I chased down the hedgerow turned out to be one of these.

Green Veined WhiteThis is a Green-veined White and not a female Orange Tip.

I was beginning to think that Orange Tips must mate with Green-veined Whites and there was no such thing as a female Orange Tip.

So anyway, one day I was out looking at the Wild Arum flower.

Wild ArumThis is not really a flower at all, the flowers are inside. The Arum Lily is really a complex Fly trap.

Wild ArumIt is a bit like the opposite of an insect repellent, it is designed to attract insects.

Now I am not suggesting that anybody goes out and covers themselves in Arum sap. It is a deadly poison that burns and blisters the skin but these things do happen and in the process of examining the fly trap I was exposed to the sap.

Wild ArumI did wash my hands in a nearby puddle of mud and I dried them on a convenient walking hand towel that I always keep with me for just such an emergency.

Hand Towel

Hand TowelBy this time my hands must have been smelling pretty good. (It’s okay I didn’t poison the dog)

This is a female Orange Tip.

Female Orange Tip

Female Orange Tip

Female Orange TipNow I am afraid that I have forgotten what I was talking about. Monday evening has become Tuesday morning and the whiskey is all gone. I must get some sleep.

This month I have to work on my Easy Wildflowers blog and get some content on there. You might think that I am slacking a bit. It is only temporary and it will be worth it. That blog is going to be very good.

Take care.

My Cute Little Diplolepis Rosae

No this isn’t a post about Fizz, it is too dark to photograph her.

For the very same reason I am not going to show you this next picture.

Spindle BerriesThis weather has got to break soon, I don’t need bright sunshine just a little more than midnight at midday and a little less rain. Then I will attempt to do this beautiful tree justice. I just know that I can do it better and there is no point in trying to do it today.

So I am stuck indoors, except for walking Poochy. I have been working on my Easy Wildflowers project. That has been on the back burner for some time because I anticipated a down turn in the weather and thought that it would help to fill the winter months. It is nearly that time.

Do you remember our Rose Bedeguar Gall? Robin’s Pincushion?

Rose Bedeguar Gall

Rose Bedeguar Gall

Rose Bedeguar GallWell, I found myself writing about roses and one thing led to another.

The little Diplolepis rosae larvae should be going to sleep by now. In late October they stop feeding and go into a prepupal stage (a sort of stage before they become a pupa) and they over winter like that. Then around about February they moult again and become pupae.

Well I wanted to have a look inside a pincushion and this is late October so it seemed like a good time to do so.

This is the one that I left behind (a bit wet and bedraggled)…

Rose Bedeguar Galland this is the one that I brought home to live with me.

Rose Bedeguar GallThen I cracked it open to look inside.

Wow! Little animals!

Diplolepis Rosae

Diplolepis rosaeThis one with the pretty face is my favourite ๐Ÿ™‚

Diplolepis rosaeThey are not supposed to do anything now until February. I have put their Gall back together and wrapped it in leaves for now and I have put them in a flower pot in an outbuilding so that they know it’s winter.

I haven’t exposed all of the cells, most of them don’t even know that they have been captured. I want to photograph the adult wasp, it is only 4 mm long and I don’t have much chance of finding one in the wild and so I have borrowed some larvae.

Diplolepis rosaeIn the Spring I will bring them back indoors and put them in a jar and I shall watch them every day. I haven’t figured out how I am going to photograph the wasp yet but I would really like to see one and so I have to try.

So this is my plan for Easy Wildflowers. On our dull winter days I shall work on it and then I shall do a sort of resume of my days work for Tramp and it will look like this.

Hi, today I have been writing about the Town Hall Clock,ย Adoxa moschatellina and it looks like this…

Town Hall ClockHave you ever tried to get all five faces into one shot?… because I have and it is not possible.

Anyway I am not going to show you that today but I am looking forward to a bit of summer sunshine on those dark winter days.

I want to get the design right before I invest months of work into it and I am not very confident. What I have done looks good on my PC but everyone sees something different.

I have used thumbnails quite a lot and I don’t really know if this works on other devices. I don’t want to learn CSS so I might just have to abandon the thumbnails.

If you have time then please have a look and tell me if it is any good before I spend months creating a massive pile of ….stuff that doesn’t really work. I may still have to rethink the layout. Say and I shall listen ๐Ÿ™‚

Easy Wildflowers

When the sun shines I shall photograph this beautiful tree for you and for me.

Spindle

Inside a Ladybird

Today I had the opportunity to take a look inside a Ladybird.

LadybirdWell under it’s elytra. I am not sure if this animal was in distress or just in disarray but it gave me the opportunity to have a look inside and I have a curious mind.

It may seem unfair to take advantage of the situation but I want to understand the anatomy.

LadybirdUnfortunately far from satisfying my curiosity the process of peeking into the interior raised more questions than answers and one in particular….

LadybirdThis wing is much too big to fit back inside the wing case. How does it do that?

LadybirdWhilst I was wrestling with this entomological dilemma and unbeknownst to me, I was being done over by a professional pickpocket.

Deft little noses were going through my valuables.

Dipper

Dipper

LadybirdI did actually beknownst what she was doing but I didn’t notice that my Zippo was missing until much later.

It must somehow fold that wing up to put it away.

LadybirdIn this next picture it appears to be rolling it’s wing but it is rolling it the wrong way, it is the length that it has to reduce.

LadybirdWe are just going to have to watch ladybirds really closely until we can find out the answer. I couldn’t find anything on the internet.

So ย if anybody knows where I can see pictures of a Ladybird folding it’s wings then do please tell me. Otherwise we are going to have to take the pictures ourselves.

Being robbed in broad daylight makes me look really stupid.

It’s my camera. Just remember that.

stupid๐Ÿ™‚

Small Tortoiseshell Colours

I took Fizz blackberrying this morning. Yesterday got rained off, we got soaked but this morning it was warm and sunny for a while.

We didn’t get many Blackberries, there were too many butterflies in the field for that.

Here are some beautiful summer colours for my Small Tortoiseshell collection.

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

6

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

A really cute Bug

While I was out this morning looking for butterflies I ran into this little Cricket.

Speckled Bush CricketThis is a Speckled Bush Cricket. It only hung around for a couple of quick snaps and wouldn’t have stood a chance of getting a post of it’s own and it hasn’t.

Speckled Bush CricketHere’s the cutie…

Speckled Bush Cricket NymphThese are the nymphs of the Speckled Bush Cricket. Perfect little miniatures of their parents and always worth keeping an eye out for.

Speckled Bush Cricket Nymph

Speckled Bush Cricket Nymph

Speckled Bush Cricket NymphYou could easily mistake these for some kind of Aphid but they are not.

A Small Copper (and a Dead Head)

I woke up this morning to a clear blue sky and I went straight out and I got lucky. It is not every day that I find a Small Copper in such good condition.

The Small Copper belongs to the family Lycaenidae also known as Gossamer-winged Butterflies. The Common Blue that we have had on here, quite a lot, is from the same family and these two butterflies are about the same size (little)

They normally have two broods a year (sometimes three) with the second brood appearing in August. This one is obviously from that second brood and brand spanking new.

There’s lovely.
Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

The Hover Fly that is muscling in on our photo shoot is Myathropa florea, the Dead Head Hover Fly that we had on here a few days ago. (The bush they are on is Rubus fruticosus, The Bramble ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper ButterflyThe shoot went down hill a bit when the Fly turned up but I managed to salvage a few decent pics….

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Small Copper ButterflyThat is a beautiful little animal ๐Ÿ™‚

Scary Monsters

Aw, just when you were beginning to like bugs…

This one doesn’t sting, it just looks scary and even scary monsters need some love.

Tenthredo Sawfly

Tenthredo Sawfly

Tenthredo Sawfly

Tenthredo Sawfly

Tenthredo SawflySawflies belong to the same order of insects as Bees, Wasps and Ants, the Hymenoptera but unlike the others Sawflies don’t have waists.

There are many different types of Sawfly (about 400 in the UK) and they can look very different from each other or very similar.

This is a Tenthredo Sawfly but Tenthredo is a genus. There are three species that look so similar that we can’t say which one this is. It is either T. notha, T. arcuata or T. brevicornis.

Sawflies have four wings so you can tell them apart from the True Flies (Diptera) which only have two and that includes Hover Flies. If it has got four wings it is not a Hover Fly.

Tenthredo SawflySawflies can be a serious garden pest. The larvae look like and eat like caterpillars. They have more legs than caterpillars (well prolegs, if you know the difference, the ones at the back) If it has more than five pairs of prolegs it is probably a Sawfly larvae also Sawflies tend to rear up on their back legs and wave about at you, ย I am sure that you have seen a “caterpillar” do that.

Apparently pest control products that you get for caterpillars don’t work on Sawflies so you have to know the difference but I am not a gardener so you would have to look elsewhere to find out about that.

Adults feed on littler insects but they also eat nectar and pollen.

Tenthredo Sawfly

Tenthredo SawflyThey don’t bite people.

I will take Fizz out and see if we can find something sweeter for you.

Tenthredo Sawfly

Dock Bugs and their Fruit.

The first photographs that I am going to show you date back to early June. Dock Bugs can often be found on Dock ( ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and Dock can be very colourful so it makes a good picture so I started photographing for the colour but then I got distracted and in the end I never got around to posting these pictures.

These are Dock Bugs.

Dock BugThey look like a Shield Bug but they are actually Squashbugs. The most obvious difference being that Squashbugs have four segments to their antennae and Shield Bugs have five.

Here are some Dock Bugs on a nice red leaf.

Dock Bug

Dock BugThis was when I became distracted by their mouth parts. Dock Bugs have a long piercing beak like structure called a rostrum that they use to suck sap from the Dock that they feed on. This beak is normally carried under the body and I hadn’t really paid it much attention.

You can see it in these next photographs.

Dock Bug

Dock Bug

Dock BugIn the heat of passion and probably being over excited by the red leaf, my bugs threw their inhibitions to the wind and let it all hang out…

Dock BugI looked at these pictures and thought, “Blimey! My Bug’s got an extra leg!”

Dock Bug

Dock BugThat is when I forgot about the colours and became interested in photographing the mouth parts.

Well that post never happened. I became distracted by some pretty little thing and forgot about the rostrum of Coreus marginatus until today.

Today I found and photographed the result of all of that hanky panky amid the Dock leaves and I do like getting the nymphs of the species.

This is a late instar nymph of Coreus marginatus. Note the different body ย shape and narrow “shoulders.”

Dock Bug

Dock Bug

Dock Bug

6I like getting the little ones. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you for your patience, I got there in the end.