Flora & Fauna

Aliens and dragons in the undergrowth

Amazing what you can find at your feet

It all began with photographing the grasses as they look rather wonderful at the moment. There are so many grasses here in the Portugal, so many in fact that my wonderful flora book exclaims ‘it is beyond the scope of this book to describe all the species in the region‘. Fortunately though it lists enough for me to identify most in my gallery.

However as my title indicates it is what is hidden beyond and in the grasses that really caught my eye. I’d been looking out for the Ria Formosa’s miniature dragons for a few days as the current heatwave is perfect for them. So was delighted to have spotted these ones and to have been able to photograph them. Moorish Geckos are never easy to photograph close-up as they are understandably wary of large shapes approaching.

Unlike the ants which are far too busy working to notice us stomping around them. They are not really aliens of course, but when I was photographing them close up it was a scene from a science fiction film that popped into my head! Ants are great consumers of grass seed, and as I discovered as well as collecting those that have fallen they also harvest the seed directly from the grass.  And they consume all types making them amazing seed dispensers. They are also superb at aerating the soil so look after those ants you have in your garden.

The Ria Formosa ants all seem very busy at the moment collecting grass seeds, and everywhere we walk to see trails of them. Some of the trails are so long and wide they have created their own paths in the undergrowth. I couldn’t resist taking a few videos. I thought though you’d be happy with just the one!

PS This rather random post all came about because it is St George’s Day today and so dragons popped into my head. I always remember St George’s Day as my Birthday is squeezed in between this day and the Queen’s actual birthday. I know the things one has in one’s head! Miniature dragon in the Ria FormosaUnfortunately St George’s Day is no longer a national holiday in England, nor would it appear to a major feast day in Portugal where St George is also the Patron Saint. However whilst I may not have any festivals to share with you, St George has given me a great excuse to talk about dragons following on from my mention of superheroes last week.

15 comments on “Aliens and dragons in the undergrowth

  1. I do like lizards/geckos! (how do I tell the difference? better just call them dragons 🙂 ) and grasses too. Popular choice, Becky. Not so wild about ants. They make me feel itchy 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hee hee don’t think anyone is keen on the ants!
      And apparently geckos are small to averaged sized lizards but I agree with you lets just call them all miniature dragons!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your article, very inspiring and thank you for your post

    Like

  3. Geckos are so creepy. In India, geckos come inside the house when it rains. I freak out and stay outside the house till someone chases it out. I have actually not slept knowing one was in the next room, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So reading this I gather it was your birthday yesterday? If so happy belated birthday! I have tons of birthdays in April – 3 grandchildren, a son, a sister-in-law and once upon a time, my dad’s! Must have been all that summer loving!
    PS love the grasses and the dragons too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was – and thank you for your Bday wishes. Think you’re probably right about all that summer lovin’!

      PS So glad you like the grasses and dragons….off to find some more today 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Ahh but in today’s headlines i see that the labour party want four more public holidays, one for each of the UK countries!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well I’d be delighted if St Georges Day became a holiday again but it would mean yet again all our public holidays are crowded in the spring. They need spreading out in England!

      Like

      • Even more so, because we’d get them all so you might as well write off March! At least St Andrew’s Day is in November. However, as the chances of Labour getting in seem to be infinitesimal to zero I guess we needn’t have any expectations.

        Love your minibeasts! On screen, anyway…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very true!
        And so glad you like 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Here in the land of Oz, those of us who live in Queensland had all of our public holidays in the first half of the year, so our state government moved one. We now celebrate the Queens birthday in October. Loved your photos Becky and your post title – it dragged me in to meet a dragon 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I’m delighted that my title caught your eye and that you popped by. 😀
        Wish our government was as sensible as your state government but does this mean in Melbourne and Perth they are not as sensible? If so even more reason for loving Queensland!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Most states have one or two public holidays in the second half of the year, but Tasmania and the Northern Territory don’t – sad for them 😦

        Like

      • oh that is sad . . . .

        Liked by 1 person

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