With a lot of calligraphy (especially such as family trees) there's a lot of white paper in the finished piece, and it's really important that this is pristine. I'm very careful not to bruise paper, or to mark it in any way. (I am slightly obsessive about it, I guess - my poor customers get an email from me instructing them on how to unroll their work when it arrives - really Janet!!)
In this lovely sunny weather the warm stones and window frames outside seem to be a good home for these little beasts - called clover mites, I believe. They're tiny - maybe 1mm including their legs.
Now I don't want you imagining anything horrific - I'm not wading through waves of them, but I have had a few in my studio. I don't really mind them - they don't bite or damage anything - unless you accidentally squash them! Then they create a big patch of red (made me think about the fact that cochineal is made from beetles) and there's nothing that will remove it!
In fact the splat is amazingly large considering the size of the original beast.
(It was toward the very edge of the piece so I've painted it out, but I'm not thrilled about it)
I'm sure this is a very British problem - I know in hotter climates there are creatures that eat the paper and glue, as well as bite the calligrapher, so I'm keeping it in perspective - just thought I'd share!
(If anyone's any tips for removing ex-clover mites from paper I'd be most grateful!)