Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothers, Earwigs and Stone

I'm wishing these mothers Happy Day!

My dear little goose, Yan - sitting tight on her beautiful downy nest keeping her eggs warm.  The name Yan comes from the old Celtic way of counting sheep, Yan (one), Tan (two), Tethera (three), Methera (four), Pimp (five) etc. She was the first, and only, gosling of my goose and gander last year.

Talking of sheep, this hard-working mother and her triplets.

And this female, who defends her nest vigorously.  The mother earwig lays eggs in a tunnel, or hole in spring and actively busies herself with them, cleaning them often and regularly re-piling them.  She may move them to different parts of the tunnel and eggs are often moved in contact with stone, if the nest is near to a stone surface.

These and other fascinating earwig facts courtesy Louise Kulzer

After the eggs hatch the nymphs remain in the nest for some time being fed by the mother.  She brings meals back to the nest and regurgitates food for her young.  Multiple broods are typical for this amazing mother. 


  1. Hello Jennifer - thank you for visiting my blog - seems we don't live all that far apart. Loved your little 'mother' stories, particularly the goose. I used to have geese until they attacked and killed one of my bantam hens, so I have them (a pair) to a farming friend who breeds geese.
    I look forward to reading your blog in the future and to seeing some of your work. Do call on me again.

  2. I will just admire the goose and the sheep Jennifer. Earwigs give me the creeps. I think it is the pointy things at the back that I dislike.

    I love the old fashioned form of counting sheep. You have reminded me that I mean to do a piece of art with those names. Apparently there are several slightly different sets depending on where the farmers came from.


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