Thursday, 10 September 2015
Spotted the first garden Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) of the year today
This brings the number of butterfly species seen in the garden this year to 14. I haven't seen Meadow Brown or Ringlet in the garden this year but Holly Blue and Gatekeeper have had an excellent year.
Monday, 7 September 2015
I put out the moth trap last Friday and with a minimum overnight temperature of 4.9 degrees centigrade it wasn't surprising that there were very few moth species in the trap. Nothing seems to stop Large Yellow Underwing though as there were 21 individuals plus 4 Lesser Yellow Underwing, 6 worn Flounced Rustic and 1 Square-spot Rustic.
This beautiful Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) wasn't trapped but found on the landing the weekend before last. I should have taken a photo in a more natural environment as the wings resemble withered autumn leaves.
Echinops has produced more flowers than I expected this year following an attack of black fly!
Cosmos is flowering in nearly every border of the garden - a great flower for attracting insects especially bees.
We went out to our favourite blackberrying spot yesterday but only managed to gather enough to fill a small ice cream tub - most had already "gone over". In fact, when we got home we picked as many from the garden!
The wildflower area has been cut down - we left the seedheads lying round for a few days. As you may be able to see from the photo the dreaded Couch Grass is dominant. A huge packet of Yellow Rattle seeds has arrived in the post so, once the area is dug over, they'll be planted and it will be interesting to see the results!
Non-flowering Nasturtiums :(
Hanging baskets have done well this year although they are just starting to become "leggy". The colour combination is due to B collecting seeds from last year's plants and growing his own!
I've often bought pots of Chrysanthemums from Supermarkets in the past and they continue to do well if planted out in the garden.
Speckled Woods (Parage aegeria) in the garden
I saw my first Garden Small Tortoiseshell last week. Its been a poor year in the garden for this species, Comma's, Peacocks and Red Admirals although Holly Blues and Gatekeepers have done really well.
The flower and butterfly photos were taken with the Cannon Bridge Camera. It does have a tendency to over-expose flower photos when its sunny. I think Millymollymandy mentioned this? Will have to try lowering the ISO, and perhaps mess around with exposure compensation and possibly experiment with White Balance. White Balance is the one thing I tend to leave on Auto as changing it has often given some very peculiar results at least with the Olympus!
Finally, a couple of photos of a Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) spotted in the front garden yesterday.
I know a couple of you were interested in the id of the "bottle-brush" plant. Just to let you know I've received an email suggesting an id - its Bridewort or Willowleaf Meadowsweet (Spiraea salicifolia). Many thanks to Tony.