Monday, 16 July 2012

Insects seem to like my wild flower meadow

It's been a busy week at work, what with the run up to our "Gardening for Wildlife" workshop on the 12th July, the day-long workshop itself, which thankfully coincided with the only rain-free day we've had for ages and went down really well (thanks to everyone who came along and made the day so enjoyable) and then the inevitable de-brief with managers and directors. 

a living green roof - a great way to support pollinating insects
without taking up space in the garden
I have to confess to being a bit stressed about the presentation on green roofing that I was asked to give and I did re-write it several times in the evenings preceding the event. By far the best place to gather my thoughts has been out of doors in my garden, usually late in the evening, so I couldn't see how the rain has ravaged the borders and I've been amazed at how many critters there are out and about after dark.

I'm sure that this year there are more bats than usual and more moths too - or maybe it's just that I've taken the time to notice them.

I must confess that temporarily being unable to drive, weed, paint, clean or read (much) because of a problem with my neck, I have taken a lot more notice of the world around me.  For example, the wild flowers on road verges are much easier to spot from a car window if I'm not trying to point a vehicle in the right direction, as are birds of prey hovering above cornfields and the occasional small furry disappearing into a gully.

Snail on meadow plant - any help identifying the species gratefully received
In the garden I've spotted a few more critters than I would normally.....on sunday morning, I found a HUGE brown hawker dragonfly perching on  one of the grasses in my meadowmat patch, although goodness only knows why, I'm nowhere near any large bodies of water and as Charlie grandson calls my little pond a puddle, I don't suppose that's attracted dragonflies.  There are wolf spiders running around in the dense foliage at the bottom of the meadow, some snails, ladybirds of course and whenever the sun comes out, lots and lots of bees of all shapes and sizes.  Charlie and I spotted an enormous bumble bee on sunday that was so hairy that he insisted it was a cat (oh to be 18 months old). 

Mullein moth caterpillar.  Isn't he handsome!
Sadly, not many butterflies yet.  I'm hoping that's just because of the dreary weather and that next week, next month, even next year, I'll be innundated with "flying flowers".  I did find a very colourful caterpiller on a self-seeded verbascum plant.  According to my book it's a mullein moth and is considered a pest.  Ah well, there's only one of him and when he grows up there's every chance he'll be a meal for one of my visiting bats.

Good old Mother Nature
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