Tag Archives: insects

Road Trip South Shields–Geocaches 150-151

Due to the need to acquire various pictures on my geocaching profile, I headed out to South Shields today to grab two caches that would fulfil all of the requirements of the Road Trip and bag me no fewer than 5 souvenirs! Not a bad haul for two caches!

Rowan berries my phone camera didn’t cope well with.

I solved the puzzle cache The 55th Parallel (GCNZDG) the internet way yesterday afternoon, and headed out to grab it this afternoon. I took the bus towards South Shields. Along the way a wasp got on the bus (without a ticket) and caused plenty of chaos. Happily I avoided most of it and got off near the final location sting-free, past a lovely rowan tree.

Once I followed my GPS, the cache was quickly discovered, signed and put away. As I wasn’t sure if my coordinates were correct, I was very pleased to be able to locate the cache so quickly. This cache earned me the three souvenirs below.


A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:Favorite Points are a geocacher’s way of figuring out which geocaches are the best of the best. You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a geocache with 10 or more Favorite Points.”


A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:Sometimes you just have to get your adrenaline flowing or your mind racing—and what better way to do that than with a geocache? You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a Terrain 5 or Difficulty 5 geocache.”


A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information: It takes determination and brain power to conquer most Mystery Caches. Way to power through and make the find! You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding a Mystery Cache.”

South Shields beach at the end of Ocean Road.

I walked along Ocean Road past the fair and up along the leas towards the earthcache Frenchman’s Bay (GC1XQHD). The view from the leas is often spectacular, and Frenchman’s bay is no exception with its perfect sandy beach, now inaccessible to people.


Frenchman’s Bay.

This cache brought me the last two souvenirs below.


A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:The geocaching game board, a.k.a. the Earth, is pretty awesome. Good job learning about it or for cleaning it up! You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by finding an EarthCache or attending a CITO event.”


A Souvenir by: Geocaching HQ. Additional Information:You did it! Way to go! Thanks for being a part of this amazing geocaching journey. You earned this souvenir during the Geocaching Road Trip ‘15 by earning all five of the other souvenirs.”

Without really meaning to, I have taken a very minimalistic approach to this challenge, and completed it in only 3 caches. I’m not sure if it would be possible to do it in any fewer.

On the way back I also came across this beetle which I’ve tried to identify. It was running along the sandy gravel path on top of the cliffs and dove into the grass. I managed to take a picture of it before it buried itself completely, and it seems to be a Violet Ground Beetle / Rain Beetle (Carabus violaceus). That article has a much better picture of one, but here’s mine.


It could run very fast, and the sides of it were very iridescent – the picture I captured appears to show them as light blue. It was 4-5cm long with the antennae.

I was very lucky to get home just before the clouds started leaking.


Burnet Moths

I had some fun today photographing these Burnet Moths. They’re all over the field in huge numbers. The field has been allowed to grow into a meadowy grassland, with plenty of different flowers including some spectacular purple orchids.

Beautiful Orchid and Burnet Moth
Hide and Seek

I only did a little editing to these, but can you spot the extremely subtle difference between these two?

Burnet the First
Burnet the Second

I’ve been seeing a lot of selective colour edits around again recently, and this pink moth with its green background was an easy target. I’m not sure which I like best, but I enjoyed testing out the different looks. It was nice to take the DSLR for a walk, and even with the kit lens which is hardly specialised for close-ups I got a couple of nice pictures.



Ooty Hangover

Today was (for me, at least) spent in recovery from our fast-paced extended weekend. Having arrived back at Sellappan’s flat at around 6am we definitely needed a good sleep! We had breakfast at around 11 at the Food Point (chappatti) and picked up some soap powder for washing, as well as some packed lunch for me. Sellappan went to work and I spent the day doing my washing, reading, looking at my photographs from the weekend and generally doing as little as possible.

One exciting incident from the day is worth reporting: While I was hanging the washing out to dry, a huge black insect the size of my thumb helicoptered over to the washing line. Drat that flowery laundry soap! When it realised there were no flowers it swiftly buzzed off again. Things like this are always happening here…

Sellappan returned home with a snack at about 8pm (omelette sandwich!) and while we ate that asked what I fancied for my tea. In the end, we didn’t have another meal and the previous day’s travel caught up with us easily by 10 or 11.