line.gif - 1064 Bytes
shower cumulus

A View of the Pennines

Thursday, 15th March 2001, West Yorkshire

Castle Hill CASTLE HILL, near Huddersfield is imposing when you're anywhere in its vicinity, but seen from the M62 near Leeds it is dwarfed by Pennine moors that rise behind it. From this angle the television mast at Holme Moss, on the border between bumble bee and catkinWest Yorkshire and Cheshire, stands behind it on the watershed of the Pennines.

hellebore It's a sunny day. A Bumble Bee, the first I've seen this year, visits the Hellebores (left) in the garden. I count 32 Frogs in the pond.


centipedeThis Centipede had climbed onto a plant pot on the kitchen windowsill. It's body is like a string of amber beads. As it walks along the legs move in a Mexican wave from front to back, like a concert pianist playing a glissando.

centipede; antennae and legs (centre) I can't make out much in the way of eyes on its head. In amongst the leaf litter where it normally lives those down-curved antennae are of more use. It tests the ground in front of itself wherever it goes. It's like a conga dance in the dark, where the first person is down on their knees, feeling the way.

I'm convinced that each of the 17 or so 'beads', or body segments, has two pairs of legs, but all those legs must be confusing me, as that would make it a millipede. Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment.

There are about 40 species of British centipede. This one appears to be one of the three British species of Cryptops, which are related to the giant venomous species that are found in tropical forests. This one is just two centimetres long and harmless, except to the tiny creatures it preys on, that is. Surprisingly for a predator they are totally blind.

Related Link

But don't take my word for that identification; I'm not a centipede expert. If you want to find out more the Virtual Field Guide U.K. at, might be a good place to start. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; ''