Sunday Safari

I need to wedge this post in here, because otherwise I’ll never get round to posting these images.

With the rise in temperature, it’s no real surprise that the insects have arrived… What’s perhaps more surprising is that I’ve actually seen Butterflies.

OK, so not surprising for many of you. But generally I don’t have any at all until later in the year. But this year I’ve already had Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells. Just wish I’d see some Orange-tips too (and that they’d allow me to photograph them, if I did).

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

The Peacocks are still too flighty to allow me to get close shots of them…

Peacock Butterfly

Today at my parent’s I also saw this Comma:

Comma Butterfly

Another Peacock and a Brimstone. I always see Brimstones there early in the year, but I’ve never once managed a photo. To the left of their house is a large, old Limestone wall, which is covered in dense Ivy, and of course the Brimstones love that as they always seem to fly around it. However, looking on the net there’s no mention of Ivy as their food source, however I do have many of their food source plants! Typical. For example I have: Thistles, Bugle, Bluebell, Dandelion, Devil’s bit Scabious, Knapweed, Primrose, Ragged Robin, Red Campion, and Selfheal. Of course, this must mean I do not have of its larval food source nearby: Alder Buckthorn and Buckthorn. This I find hard to believe as I am close to an overgrown woodland which must have some of them!

Today I found a rather large Queen Bumble in the kitchen, I think it might’ve been in there for a while. Its wings and body were covered in dust and muck… Seriously, where did it get so dirty?? The kitchen was only completely hovered and cleaned last weekend as our fridge freezer died and we had to pull it out and get another… Anyway… so yes. I took her outside, and left her on some muscari and in the end had to help her get to the blooms before she was strong enough to manage on her own.

Bumble Bee

When I was trying to help Mrs Bumble, a much smaller Bee repeatedly buzzed around, without ever stopping still for any nice photos… After a little while I noticed it go into a hole, this isn’t unusual behaviour and I often see them casing any holes and cracks in the back of the house as it’s south-facing and of course the solitary Bees need somewhere to make their little nests/hives.
As I’d got my macro lens on, I had a quick peek and sure enough…

Red Mason Bee

Hoverflies are out too, and this year Drone Flies were the first insects I saw.

Drone Fly (Hoverfly)

In all I’ve managed to get some work done in the garden, including giving in to buying some more plants – wildflowers I might add! I know I intend to move, but it’ll be a while yet before the house is ready i.e. painted, new kitchen and lots of tidying. So it might not be until next year now that I put the house on the market… we’ll see. Anyway, yes wildflowers were purchased, some planted, others awaiting a decision on where I can put them (whoops), Buddleja floored and chopped into small chunks to go in the bin, Foxglove seedlings planted in the Cherry border, F-M-Ns stolen from my parents and planted. I was on the verge of cutting the lawn but realised I need to empty the compost bin before I do, so I’ll wait until next weekend.

It must really be spring; as the lawn mower chorus filled my ears as I worked.

All this work done after I’ve managed to hurt my left foot – a piece of wood fell on it; the bruises are getting more impressive each day.

Copyright 2013 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.


14 thoughts on “Sunday Safari

  1. Nice post on the flutter-bees. I am quite fond of them too and had photographed them a lot when I was staying in Bangalore, India for a short while. There is a butterfly park there and I was simply blown away by the sheer number and variety of the butterflies there. Do check out my butterfly post on my blog if you are fond of them too.

  2. Glad to see that the butterflies have been fluttering by in your neck of the woods Liz. We have had a few out and about here too especially at the allotment. You are obviously providing a menu to their liking.

    • Hi Anna,

      I’m very surprised to see any of the ‘big ones’ at the time of year, especially with last year being so rubbish and then the cold lasting so long!
      Most of the time I see them sunbathing in the garden, so actually I’m unsure what they might be drinking right now… Good question, in fact.

  3. How do you know that bumble bee was actually a queen? Anyway, was she trying to tell you you need some more Hoover-flies?! 🙂 ‘it ain’t no place for a queen here!’
    So can imagine you have already a new place and you just need time to complete the works in there before you move, correct? How will your garden be and look like? Are you making plans already?

    • Hi Alberto,

      I guess I don’t ‘officially’ know that it’s a Queen Bee, but it was huge and usually the huge ones are the Queens out. This early in the year they haven’t yet managed to raise any daughters (they’re solitary, and each year create small colonies). So I’m just making an assumption.
      The house isn’t yet on the market/haven’t bought anything. I’m just trying to get prepared, i.e. decorate, tidy and organise stuff to make the move easier. Previous experience of just throwing all rubbish into boxes in a blind panic, so this time I want to make sure I’m prepared. I can’t sell the house, well… I could but it’d be worth less as it needs a lick of paint here and there, the garden wall really needs painting. So in order to give myself the best chance of selling, I’m just going to paint some of the rooms; it won’t be expensive and worth it if everything is looking nice.

      • I don’t know any other way of moving but rushing anything you can into random boxes in a state of total panic and despair. I did move 5 times like that and I still have some of my stuff boxed somewhere… Clever.

  4. Loved the photos and the education along with it! I really enjoy comparing the weather and nature across the ocean from where I live in Michigan, USA. There are lots of similarities, but some differences too. It’s been a cold spring here and my daffodils are just now blooming. Haven’t seen bees, but was chasing a fly around the house just yesterday! Take care, Kathi :O)

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