Strange lifeforms, and uplifting sights

We always keep our eye out for wildlife, or for anything unusual in the environment, and at the weekend, while putting something in the wheelie bin we noticed a strange blob of jelly hanging off the lid.

What is this jelly blob?

What is this jelly blob?

It was about the size of a fruit jelly sweet – in fact, at first we thought maybe it was one that had been washed colourless in the rain!

On closer inspection, we saw how beautiful it was. The shape is perfectly formed, with the spots in incredibly neat rows. But what was it? It looked like an alien! Was it alive? Were the spots eggs?

After trying lots of phrases in a search engine, ‘clear jelly with eggs’ brought up some photos of the same stuff hanging off a leaf. It is a cluster of caddis fly eggs. What looks like a regular fly is actually a fascinating creature. Not only does its underwater larvae build itself a bizarre protective ‘overcoat’ of bits and pieces it finds, as an adult is also lays these beautiful eggs. And we have them in the garden!

We decided the wheelie bin was not a good place for them, and put them near the ditch so when they hatch they can go into the water.

Even when we don’t look out for wildlife, it finds us. Brian got into some negative thinking earlier this week, and just as he was telling someone about it, he heard the sounds of geese honking up in the fog. He looked up to see a big skein of them flying over, and putting everything back into perspective.

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