Friday Flowers

So, a little misleading this week; it really ought to be Friday Furries or Friday creepy crawlies.
I’ve been stockpiling photos and being very tardy with posting them, so please get yourself a drink before settling down for this post.

As we slide into August the butterfly peak has probably passed us, although I’m sure usually it’s around now that my numbers peak but as the weather has been good this year most plants have bloomed earlier.

Gatekeeper numbers this year haven’t been so good, I do wonder whether it’s due to the lack of Ragwort or other factors beyond my control – rainy weather early on? Their larval food source was cut? Natural peak and fluctuation?

There have been a few small skippers around, but lately they have disappeared. I was perhaps a little too obsessed with stalking them around the garden…

The Meadow browns this year seem to be really aggressive; usually it’s the gatekeepers who always chase others but the meadowbrowns are really going for it!

As a result they are also by far the tattiest; with lots of them missing parts of wings.

Some of the Bees are also very territorial; I don’t know which do it but I regularly see them flying around and they will actually dive bomb onto other bees to knock them off a bloom, sometimes they even grab them off and throw them on the wall.
The one below – a Leaf cutter – was just resting, but I think these are the culprits. And it’s often a battle ground around the bird’s foot trefoil.

(I’m actually becoming increasingly frustrated with flickr and the quality of the images uploaded. They are losing a lot of quality and imo it’s not good enough. I pay for their service and here they are reducing the photo quality as I upload.)

The skippers seemed to favour the Lavender, but as you can see I did spot them on a few different blooms. The male(s) seemed to always be on the Lavender, and the female(s) elsewhere.

So far I haven’t had much luck with Commas, perhaps the loss of the nettle patch has forced them to move on elsewhere – although if I’m honest I’m sure there are enough nettle patches around, as there’s an alleyway a few houses away with plenty of overgrowth and ‘weeds’.

After a promising early start with Ringlets, I haven’t seen any for a few weeks. However there are plenty of Meadowbrown around… fighting with everything that moves.
On a side note, I’ve also seen a Dragonfly zipping around on a few occasions, sadly it hasn’t yet landed for photos.

The main benefit of having white walls is the large butterflies enjoy sunbathing on it. I can have anything up to 15 or so sunbathing on the garden walls and house walls.

Of course, this also means macro shots!

I’ll finish this post there, but I have more to come for Sunday’s Safari post. This time on wasps – no, not yellow jacket types, but solitary Wasps.

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

13 thoughts on “Friday Flowers

  1. Hi Liz,

    I have lots of butterflies in the garden….same species as the ones you show. Sad thing is, I have only seen one blue this year…..most unusual, and so disappointing.
    I believe Ragwort does make a difference, as that is where most of the butterflies congregate, also butterfly bush of course.
    I intend to grow more next year…….

    Lovely images, particularly the little skipper 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl,

      I’m yet to see any Holly Blues here and beginning to think this year is a bit of a poor one. No Small Copper either. The only positive so far is I finally had a Red Admiral visit yesterday – the first time in a couple of years. It was very tatty, but a sighting at least!
      Now I’m beginning to think all that rain really did have quite an impact on them, if even you’re struggling with the blues.
      Yesterday I watched a few female Gatekeepers in the grass at the edges of the garden; laying eggs me thinks. Not exactly the best of places, as the grass is cut in the areas she was choosing, rather than going for the ‘messy’ patches I leave with longer grass.

      Are you planning on growing more Buddleja? You might want to buy them soon or allow seedlings/cuttings as I think they’re soon to be off the market because they’re ‘invasive’. I understand that, but I also think that they help butterfly numbers so massively that it’ll be a great loss to butterflies and other insects and help disused ground at least look half-decent rather than just a rubbish site. So personally, I see no harm in them. Now, Japanese Knotweed….

  2. “Like” just didn’t seem like a strong enough adjective for this post. The photos are outstanding — and, I think, an exercise in patience. Well done!

  3. We can always guarantee great shots from you Liz. So many butterflies I would never in a million years hope to see here, always enjoy looking at your garden visitors.
    Butterflies just starting to appear here and because we’ve had such a great summer, my buddleia has gone over and it’s taking an absolute age to produce more flowers.
    I managed to grab a shot of 2 buffed tailed bumblebees mating – it was a bit of a voyeur moment!

  4. Great closeups, I can only imagine the patience needed! but there’s something just a bit unsettling to me when I see those big eyes and probing feeding tubes, probably a few too many late night sci-fi horror moves!

  5. We have loads of Gatekeepers down here, without any ragwort! We still haven’t seen lots of our usual ones, but there is still time. Your photos are superb as usual, I always look forward to seeing your butterflies.

  6. Wow! My son and I enjoyed all the closeup shots. I counted 6 flutters in the garden the other day, the most ever for me. Four whites and two orange and white polka dotted on a black background. I need to get a book to ID them better.

  7. Wow! Great photos, and am now slightly disturbed by the knowledge that butterflies are territorial and have the shredded wings to prove it… Sorry you are hacked off with flickr, have realised I don’t know how to find you on flickr, what’s your name in that world?

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