September 2022 CMMC Close up

Cee Neuner’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC) this week is for a close up or macro.

A passionflower on some neighbours’ fence attracts lots of bees, which leave with their backs covered in pollen.

My photo shows a bee (or two) inside a flower.

Passion flower with leaves and tendrils. there are bees inside the flower
Bees inside a passionflower

Garden wildlife

This year the wasps returned to the bird box, which hubby had cleaned out after last year’s nest had been deserted. There was some activity until a hot spell, which the wasps did not survive. The wasps seemed to attempt to regulate the temperature inside the box. A few of them stood near the entrance flapping their wings.

I have done more gardening this year than in previous years, digging out some invasive plants to give other species a better chance. The invasive plants will spread again from the small clumps I have left. While I was working in a shady part of the garden some movement attracted my attention. It was a large, healthy-looking frog, which disappeared into the undergrowth. There isn’t a pond in our garden, but there must have been enough moisture for this amphibian even at the end of a dry spell.

Another amphibian, which was hiding under a boot-cleaning device propped against the edge of the patio, was a toad. It stayed nearby long enough for me to fetch my camera.

Dark brown toad on concrete capping stone at edge of patio

We saw a bee with a red tail digging a hole in the sloping lawn. It stayed inside, making photography difficult. Afterwards the hole had been filled in.  If we hadn’t seen the bee, we might not have noticed the fine soil on the surface. Can we expect any bees to emerge?

Soil in grass. a bee is just visible at the top right of the soil
The bee digging (above the fine soil on the top right)

The bees’ nest we had in the front garden last year has not been used again.

We have seen a few caterpillars. There were one or two green ones on the aquilegia. Buff-tip moth caterpillars (identified by Annabel Sherwood on Twitter) were new to us. They were all spotted on the ground; on two occasions on a path and a smaller one on the earth.

Caterpillar ID help, please. @BC_Cumbria

— Susan Sanderson (@suesconsideredt) August 28, 2021

Various pollinators have included bees, hover flies and a few butterflies, especially white ones. A handsome bug was identified by Moira O’Donnell as a green shieldbug nymph – what would I do without Twitter?

A shield bug on the invasive pink geraniums (loved by bees and other pollinators) in our garden #WildWebsWednesday

— Susan Sanderson (@suesconsideredt) September 1, 2021

Adult shieldbug seen in May

Candy-stripe spiders have made their nests inside the lid of our brown garden-waste bin. Thanks to Dolly for the identification. They were there at the beginning of August and are still there a month later. The egg sacs are possibly a bit bigger.

— Susan Sanderson (@suesconsideredt) August 4, 2021

Do click on the links to see the pictures on Twitter.

Unusual bees

This week’s photo challenge from the Daily Post is Unusual.

I recently became aware of some wild bees in the garden. They were carrying pieces of leaf (one at a time) and dragging them into a hole in a piece of wood. I could not tell what sort of leaf they were collecting until I walked past a hedge and noticed a partly chewed leaf.

Damaged leaf
Damaged leaf





















The bees are leaf-cutter bees. I have read that they are helpful in gardens, pollinating plants. Their leaf damaging habits do not kill the plants.

Is this the culprit?
Is this the culprit?