Sunday Safari

After terrible weather yesterday, I only managed to snatch brief photos between very heavy deluges – heavy enough to knock sky off and leave us with no tv for a while.
I was shocked and extremely excited to spot butterflies on the Buddleja once the rain had stopped… Not one Peacock, or even two, but three Peacocks and also three Small Tortoiseshells quickly refuelling between showers.

Perhaps oddly enough, I haven’t seen any on the Buddleja in the front garden; no idea why because there are far more blooms on it, however they are also smaller?? Strange.

It doesn’t take long for the Bees, Hoverflies and Drone flies to appear after the rain either…

Sadly there are always casualties of the rain, the above Bee no doubt didn’t find shelter from the rain.

This morning I decided to have a quick flit around the garden; savouring being outside for the first time in what feels like months; but in reality is probably only a week.
As I was on the upper tier checking on the plants, the birds arrived at the feeders…

The Tits are often the least wary birds – the Sparrows seem to be the worst, even though they’re very sociable birds. So it isn’t so much a surprise that the Blue tits, although doubtful of the clicking of the camera, did allow me to get some shots.

The Robin was also OK with me, wary too but that didn’t stop it flying back and forth for seed from the feeders.

And, look what I’ve noticed over the past few days… Just to add to the odd summer we’ve had, my Garrya has tassels on it and have heard from people on Twitter that they’ve seen Magnolias in bloom for the second time this year!

I’ve just had a Comma in the garden, the first for a month or so. I hope it’s visited the nettles and laid on them. It may well have just emerged as I’ve seen signs of there being caterpillars on the nettles – just yet to spot them!

My year has just been made… had my first Blue!!! Well, I’ve seen them pass through before, but not for a year or two. This one I spotted on the Erysimum, I disturbed it as I opened the kitchen door, so it flew into the Sea Holly and then away and landed on my neighbour’s Lilac… Apologies for these photos, but I’m thrilled regardless!

I believe it was a Holly Blue and although I’m unaware of any Holly nearby, apparently they’re just as worthy of the name ‘Ivy Blue’ as their second broods are laid on Ivy (first on Holly). As it happens Ivy is creeping into my garden from next door (I took photos earlier today actually for my end of month post) and I assume it perhaps has laid on the Ivy or maybe recently emerged.

And I can’t post these days without at least one photo of a Gatekeeper!

A quick question… I bought two Pyracantha earlier this year and have planted them into larger pots than they were bought in… They’re intended for the front garden once they’re large enough to hold their own and I will remove the large shrub roses. Now, do you think I should plant them in the garden and then move them once they’re larger, or keep them in the pots for a couple of years or so? My concern is that I’ll never get round to moving them once they are large enough, or that I leave it too long and kill them when moving.

Btw, thanks for your well wishes re: my illness. It must’ve been bacterial, just two days in and I’m already much better and managed to sleep for the first time in a week or two without choking – nothing worse than being woken mid choke and having your entire body almost retching through the pain and tears streaming down your face.

Copyright 2012 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

19 thoughts on “Sunday Safari

    • Hi,

      In general the photographs are taken very quickly; with Butterflies you have to be fast otherwise they’re gone. But yes, it does also require stalking around the garden with the camera.

  1. Liz I am so happy to hear you are better…your wildlife is beautiful and such a blessing after your rotten weather. I canot get over the deluge you are still having the drought we are still experiencing…fewer flowers left here to photograph…we need rain soon or the garden will be done months early.

    • Hi Donna,

      I’m almost better – still coughing, but I can now at least sleep without any problems :) Just hope I don’t have to make another trip to the Drs if it doesn’t totally go before my course finishes – it’s only a week long one.

      August has mostly been OK – the rain we had on Saturday was the heaviest I’ve seen in a long time and really, we needed some rain after very little throughout August. Hopefully you will get rain soon… Although, let’s hope you don’t see any of the effects of Isaac (sorry, I don’t know where in north America you are.)

  2. I loved this series of photos of your flying garden accessories :-) Especially the holly blue – what a gorgeous butterfly. Glad you’re feeling better, too! Being able to breath is always nice . . .

    • Hi VW,

      I’m hopeful I’ll have more Holly Blues over the coming years as the Ivy increases… But at the back of my mind I’m also aware that I have noticed them flitting around before so perhaps I’m being too hopeful :)

      Indeed, being able to breathe and sleep is always good! At least it isn’t a chest infection like I caught a couple of times (never had them since, thankfully). Having asthma and a chest infection is terrible and honestly thought I was going to die because I could not breathe.

  3. So glad you’re feeling a lot better and can get out into your garden between the showers! Super butterfly shots, still waiting for our holly blue to put in an appearance, but lots of other butterflies when it isn’t raining, More rain on the way today for us but I think its supposed to get better later in the week!

    • Hi Pauline,

      Back to rain again today – started out quite bright, went to the cinema (big mistake! Was manic trying to get out!!)

      Yes I hear, apparently weather system pushing in from the Azores… Might get a day or two of nice weather then……………..

  4. So sorry you have been unwell Liz. I missed, but have just read, your last post, it sounded really nasty. One of my other blogger friends has had what sounded like exactly the same infection. He said he is not prone to chest trouble but that it had affected him quite badly. He lives in the south east so it must be all over the country. I really, really dread getting anything like that as I struggle with my chest on a daily basis and any infection is awful and very frightening! I do hope you continue to recover well.

    Anyway, I have, as always, enjoyed your photos and it was lovely seeing some of your garden visitors. Your blue is indeed the Holly Blue, such a pretty little butterfly and one I have yet to capture on camera despite having them in the garden, attracted as you said by both my Holly and Ivy…maybe one day I will get one settled and not just whizzing past me :-)

    • Hi Jan,

      Tbh it’s more annoying than anything – I haven’t felt ill in myself but have an annoying cough that’s also occasionally causing me to vomit. My last tablet was today and I’m unsure if I’ll bother going back to the doctors; thinking I’ll wait out the weekend and see how it goes.
      I’ve heard of quite a few people with similar to me; a few at work have had it and now of course you know someone with similar. Thankfully it isn’t too bad – I’ve had chest infections as a teen and hope to never have any again. I honestly thought I was dying because I just could not breathe. I ended up on steroids and whatever else as well as having a spacer to take my inhaler to help get more into my lungs.

      Glad to hear you have Holly Blues too! Why can’t they be easier to photograph??? I’ve never managed an orange-tip either. My parents have quite a few Blues around them too; large Ivy on their wall, Holly tree but also I think they might have some other Blue species thanks to nearby fallow land which was once an old pit.

  5. Beautiful photos Liz, nice to see that even butterflies rush in to take advantage of the brief respite in the weather. Good to hear you are feeling a bit better, hope it clears up completely rather than gifting you with one of those lingering cough type things. I often wind up sounding like a sea lion!

    I am going to have to practice my butterfly photography skills, as we appear to be getting lots, probably due to all the buddleja in the area. We already have lots of ivy, and I hope to rescue some of the holly currently being choked by bindweed and willow. So you never know…

  6. P.S. Re the pyracantha, if you can keep potting them on to larger pots, I would do that, they are beasts with those thorns, and at least that way you will be able to move them around easily if you change your mind about where they are going to end up.

    • Hi Janet,

      Unfortunately I just don’t seem to be getting better – after initially feeling much better over the past few days I just seem to be going backwards. Tomorrow is my last tablet and i’m unsure whether to go to the doctors again or just wait it out and hope it stops soon. I’ve been using flu powders and actually they’re helping a lot! Normal paracetamol doesn’t seem to do much, but these do. I don’t mind the coughing so much, it’s the rubbish sleeping that’s getting to me the most. Although, it is annoying that I end up coughing and spluttering just after going upstairs. I’d like to get some cycling done, but think I’d just end up a wheezing, choking, vomiting mess.

      The Blue flutters really aren’t the easiest to catch – and I’ve also never managed an orange-tip.

      Thanks re: Pyracantha. Just a bit concerned re:winter and them being in relatively small pots. May have to get something larger for them and pot them on.

      • Sounds miserable – and probably viral, so just have to wait it out :-( Some of these cough things can really linger, and leave you feeling like a limp dish rag. I don’t imagine cycling would help, either! Hope you shake it off soon.

  7. I am glad you are feeling better! I always admire your photos, and these are no exception. I would be just as thrilled to see a Blue! We miss a blessing if we don’t see the wonder of the little creatures in our gardens.

  8. Glad to hear your feeling better Liz. I love all these photographs, and I’m always in awe when someone can get close enough to capture butterflies in photos. I have to admit though, the photographs of the robins really made my day. Off all the British birds, I miss those the most. The big behemoth American robins just aren’t the same!

  9. Hi Liz,
    I haven’t been on blotanical for quite awhile, so decided to stop by and look around a bit, or as you would say in the U.K., , “have a look around”. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned my husband and I have watched some shows from there, and I like it when people say they are going to “have” something when they are going to do it.

    I noticed you have been picking a lot of my posts. Thanks! I get so behind, that I’m not sure if I’ll get back into picking and such.

    I enjoyed seeing your birds, blooms, and butterflies.

    I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well. I hope you get better soon.

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