Friday Flowers

The garden is moving on quickly, it’ll be soon be Allium season and I’m wondering where my year went.

Of course, this also means I have far too many photos building up that I ought to post before they’re lost underneath the many, many photos.

Despite the good weather I’m a little concerned about the Bees, so far I’ve seen plenty of Bumbles, large ones but relatively few of the smaller species. So I was pleased to see the one below. I’ve also suddenly begun to see Mason Bees, including the lovely and rather cuddly tawny mining bee. Ok so it isn’t cuddly, but it looks like it ought to be.

This year looks to be a bumper for the Pyracantha; most branches are laden with buds. I feel bad that I plan on cutting back some of the branches now… It’s also a pleasure to see ‘little beauty’ Tulip, I’m almost thinking it’s begun to naturalise as I’m quite certain I didn’t plant three clumps (I bought them years and years ago, when we lived in not the last house, but the one before!)

As expected, the House Sparrows have been gathering some of the moss/thatch from the garden. I managed to catch them hopping around, albeit not a very good photo, typically I didn’t have the correct lens on.

The butterflies have been more flighty than just a few weeks ago… I’ve had difficulty catching the Small Torts and Peacocks. I’ve also spotted Speckled Woods and a large brown, fast flying flutter which I believe to be Meadow Brown. It’ll be a while yet before it slows down and I’m able to take photos of it.

Oh my, look here.

What’s that I spy???

Finally! It stopped still. Not only the once either, I’ve since managed to catch photos again but they can wait for another time.

It’s only taken me 6 years and many frustrating attempts. But I managed it.

Copyright 2014 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden


17 thoughts on “Friday Flowers

  1. Lovely capture of the Orange Tip. I have seen so many this year fluttering along the lane and in the garden.
    I never realised until I read an article the other day, that if they are ready to hatch and it is a cold Spring (like last year) they delay until the following Spring. Amazing.
    I saw a common blue yesterday and thought of you…..I seem to remember you like them 🙂

    I have dozens of mason bees etc leaving the units….they are working the blossom in the garden so should have lots of fruits this year, all being well.
    I have seen plenty of large bumbles but very very few honey bees, which is worrying. There are hives not far from my home and I usually have plenty of visits at this time of year.

    Raining here….hope the sun is shining in Sheffield 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Ah, I didn’t know that about the orange-tips. I’m surprised, but actually it does make a lot of sense. I think the only reason I’ve managed to catch them this year is because the blooms are early, and previously at this time we don’t have quite so much so they just pass over looking for mates. I like all flutters, but yes I would love to see more blues – especially the long-tailed blues but this would be the very north of their territory if they were to ever arrive up here. I’m see more of the Holly Blues now, as Ivy is slowly creeping into my garden from next door, so hopefully there will be even more!

      The bees have completely ignored my bee house… So it’s probably going to end up in the bin. They just seem to prefer using the holes in the back wall instead (I put the house on the wall, as it’s south-facing and figured they clearly like that site…) Last week I planted some plants at my parents’ and I think I disturbed a few mason bees; one was sitting on a rose leaf and a Tawny landed on my brother, I stood up to look and it flew onto my hand. Then as I looked in their other borders (most are empty now, as dad had them all dug up because he hadn’t controlled the couch grass) and I noticed lots and lots of little round tunnels in the soil.

      This morning began grey and rainy, but it’s now cleared up with mixed sun and cloud. It’s rather windy though, so a little on the chilly side.

    • HI Pauline,

      I’m pleased to see I’m not the only one that cannot catch the orange-tips! I feel your pain, honestly I do. I also hope you manage some photos of them soon. I find butterflies are much easier to photograph later in the year when it’s warmer, and they’ve probably already mated, so they slow down. Then I can usually get up close to them, but this time of year they’re very flighty, and many I can’t catch – such as the Orange-tips and Brimstones. But the problem with those two, is they’re on the wing early in the year and then all but disappear beyond May, so I never manage photos.
      Like, I also know that in a month or so I’ll easily catch the Meadow Brown, but I know at this time of year they zoom around and it’s impossible to get a photo of them.

  2. Wow, Liz – I have not even heard of an orange-tip butterfly, let alone seen one. What sort of environment might I expect to see them in? There was an article about different bees in something last year, maybe GW – wish Ihad kept it to help me identify them. There was an almost black (unstriped) one the other week – any ideas? I love Little Beauty too and not only are my clumps enlarging I have found odd ones dotted about so they must have seeded

    • Hi Cathy,

      They’re often seen along hedgerows or woodland edges and damp meadows, but they do also visit gardens (obviously). I have a few of their larval food plants as well as the adult nectar sources (bluebells, dandelions, Hawkweed, red campion and such). Most of my native blooms were bought especially to attract butterflies, whether for laying their eggs or feeding when on the wing. Only the male has the orange tips on his wings, the female is very similar to green-veined white and small whites so I may not have realised before… But in general I do check underwings and believe I would’ve spotted a female by now. So far I’ve seen the male settle on Forget-me-not and Honesty, but I didn’t see him feed from either.

      Completely black bees are rare – I had one last summer and after searching it was likely a mutation of a type of bumble – I can’t remember which one now… Bees are hard to distinguish I’m afraid, as a lot of them look similar and then to make it worse there are Bee mimics! The only ones I am fairly happy to ID are honey bees and mason/mining bees. That is, unless they too have mimics that I wasn’t aware of.

  3. After 6 years you must be so happy to have caught those last pix! You’re getting me excited about more flutters in my garden, too. There are going to be lots this year – I can just feel it 🙂 I love it that you’re educating me on all these little guys in the garden – I’m paying more attention to bees as well.

  4. Now that is a magical twofor Liz, an orange tip and forget-me-nots! Wonderful. I love ‘Little Beauty’, very pretty. I’ve been seeing lots of bees and hover flies, though I am pretty useless on recognising which type of bees I am seeing. I do know that there are at least four different kinds though, including bumbles, so I suppose there must be quite a healthy local population, and hopefully my garden will increasingly help them out. They certainly adore the pulmonaria.

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