Son 2 gave them lots of stones to hide under, kept them in the shade, and let them out at the end of the day.
One morning he shouted excitedly that he'd found a newt! "Is it tiny?" enquired Ben. Son 2 agreed that it was pretty small.
"Then you can call it my-newt!" concluded Ben, cheerfully. After some reflection on the source of the hilarity, Son 2 got the joke, and indeed called this young newtpole 'my-newt' for the rest of the day.
On another morning, Ben found this snail as I was hanging out the washing. Ordinary looking snail?
Not when you see it up against Son 2's hand - this one's a whopper! It's a common enough species, apparantly, although we'd never seen one before. We had to work quite hard to talk Son 2 out of bringing this one home to join his snail collection...
... but in the end the snail successfully ensured its own (surprisingly speedy) escape.
Ben found these amazingly sparkly blue chafer beetles too.
The males live near streams, and we never found a female - they are much duller in colour, apparantly.
Son 2 snapped a photo of this moth with a face-like profile in the toilets! Now, if you're a bit squeamish about flying beasties, steel yourselves for the final few photos...
This is Ben's man-size hand, so you realise that this curious fly on our tent is really quite big (more than an inch long). It turns out to be a stonefly. Its larvae live only in very unpolluted rivers - what a good sign! Son 2 and his little friend found several of its transparent, scorpion-like larvae in the stream.
Then on a visit to the bigger river down in the valley, the boys found these curious 'shells' on the rocks. If you weren't spooked by the last photo, you might be by the next...