Posted by Paula Hulme
Slugs, snails and worms totally gross me out, so when Hayley brought in her collection of small creatures I was a little apprehensive about photographing them. However, as she produced her stick insects and set them down on their driftwood to pose for the many eager photographers I found myself drawn closer to view these hideous creatures.
Hayley handled them with lots of love and care, giving some names and explaining how she came to own some of the insects, including stowaways arriving in packing crates at local factories.
A very slimy looking, brightly coloured rainbow millipede moved extremely swiftly over the driftwood showing off his stunning colours, highlighted by a black backdrop.
During the teabreak the preying mantis ate his lunch, an extremely disgusting thing to watch, almost putting me off my biscuit! Many members found this to be the highlight of the evening. Completely satisfied and full he retired to his Tupperware box for a well earned rest.
Next was a very brightly coloured toad (at least I think it was a toad and not a frog) which came out to show off his bright colours. Everyone zoomed in close…Focus on the eyes…..make sure they’re in focus……then the blooming thing leapt at me! Haha my nerves went at this point and I decided to stand back and admire from a distance. Perhaps he should have spent a few minutes in the freezer to calm him down before his public audition. (Only joking)
Giant snails, which apparently were still only small, and I can assure you that you would not want in your garden, slimed all over the table while hundreds of minute babies, all of which grow to a massive size, but now looked more like tadpole size, lay in a dish on the side.
A large black scorpion made his appearance, legging it as fast as his claws would allow across the table, only to be dragged back on numerous occasions by Hayley to pose.
Eventually, hopefully, everything was packed away into their respective boxes, carefully and lovingly by Hayley and her boyfriend.
I’m sure that everyone at the Club enjoyed the night, even myself, in a grossed out way. I must apologise to Hayley though if I have any names wrong. To be honest I was concentrating more on their movements rather than their names.
To learn more about Hayley’s creatures, big and small, visit her website: www.hd-reptiles.co.uk
Photos within the article are by Paula Hulme, more photos below!