All photographs and video were taken by myself, who knows how media ownership works on WordPress not me? 🙂
A post featuring my mother’s very own wildlife eco system, not Bumblebees for a change but four species of butterflies which regularly visited her garden late August 2017.
I’ve learnt two natural history lessons this past summer, first it’s extremely important to grow pollinating flowers in your garden 🙂 and secondly it seems Butterflies GO CRAZY FOR purple flowering Buddleia’s!
Until researching this post I hadn’t really appreciated the beauty of these amazing bugs fluttering from flower to flower in my mother’s rear garden, not until I looked close up upon the vibrant colours on their wings had I realised we have amazing creatures on our own doorsteps.
Quite literally step outside her conservatory door and my mother has bees butterflies birds feeding upon bugs only because she grows pollenating flowers in her garden, and as you’ll see from my photos butterflies adore buddleia flowers in fact as I wandered round the lawn with my camera four different native English species couldn’t leave the bush alone!
Along with butterflies mum has hedgehogs visiting her garden nine o’clock most evenings and during the summer months she’ll put a saucer of water and dried mealworms on the concrete patio. To begin with only one hedgehog would visit to munch on the dry worms then scurry back across the lawn, through a hole under the fence and into a hedgehog house in a neighbours garden. But best of all earlier this Spring an adult and two babies would turn up for supper every evening!
Thank you WordPress because if I hadn’t had the ‘imagination’ to write this post I wouldn’t have given the colours and patterns on their wings a second look, in fact every summer I rarely give notice these beautiful creatures.
Red Admiral: The Red Admiral is a frequent visitor to British gardens and is one of our most well-known butterflies, unmistakable with velvety black wings intersected by striking red bands. Primarily a migrant to our shores, although sightings of individuals and immature stages in the first few months of the year, mean the Red Admiral is now considered resident in the British Isles ‘topped up’ every year with migrants arriving in May and June that originate in central Europe. However unfortunately, most individuals are unable to survive our winter especially in the cooler regions of the British Isles.
Comma: The Comma is a fascinating butterfly. The scalloped edges and cryptic colouring of the wings conceal hibernating adults amongst dead leaves, while the larvae, flecked with brown and white markings, bear close resemblance to bird droppings. The species has a flexible life cycle, which allows it to capitalize on favourable weather conditions. However, the most remarkable feature of the Comma has been its severe decline in the twentieth century and subsequent comeback because it is now widespread in southern Britain with a range expanding ever northwards.
Small Tortoiseshell: Regarded as one of our most common butterflies the bright orange wings with black spots of the Small Tortoiseshell makes this one of our most easily recognised British butterflies. It is fast flying in bright sunshine but can be easily approached when feeding and was one of the species that didn’t fly away as I photographed.
Large White: The Large White is one of two species (the other being the Small White) that can claim the title of “Cabbage White” that is the bane of allotment holders all over the British Isles. The larva of this species can reach pest proportions, and decimate cabbages to the point that they become mere skeletons of their former selves. The female is distinguished from the male by the presence of 2 black spots, together with a black dash, on the forewing upperside. This is one of the most widespread species found in the British Isles and can be found almost anywhere, including Orkney and Shetland, also known to migrate to the British Isles from the continent.
All the following Bumblebee photos appear on a previous flower post however I thought why not share them again because many will have missed them. ©Andrew
🙂 As always I’ve taken video (below) of all 4 species visiting Mum’s garden (taken using a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, the only tech I own!)
So I guess the moral to my tale and a lesson I’ve learnt these past weeks is make a little effort to plant summer pollinating flowers, I know these photos aren’t from my own garden but I’m not totally idle 😀 , earlier this summer bees have been working hard pollinating my new raspberry bushes and I have a purple buddleia tree.
I hope you enjoyed my photographs 🙂