Wildlife in our garden (Part 3)

There have been lots of insects in our garden this year. The painted lady butterflies have been numerous. Bees of various sizes, hoverflies, a dragonfly, moths and an unusual ladybird have all been observed. (I was going to say spotted!)

An interesting thing this year was that some wasps built a nest in a bird-box intended for wrens or robins. The nest box itself has had a strange history. Originally it was fixed a bit too low for birds; a field-mouse took up residence. The wasps moved in after it was moved higher. They build their nests from chewed wood, which makes a papery substance. Part way through the summer some of their grubs fell (or were pushed?) from the nest.
After the wasps had left hubby dismantled the box and I took photos of the nest. He cleaned the box out (woodlice had moved in) and replaced it. Not long afterwards a young wren explored it. Perhaps next year it will serve its intended purpose.

Another nest box has served as sleeping quarters for a blue tit for a few winters. It was made from a piece of log and has now disintegrated. Its replacement has the opening facing in a different direction. We shall see…


Wildlife in our garden (Part 2)

An earlier post described some of the larger visitors to our garden.

There are lots of insects in our garden in summer. Our flowers attract bees, wasps and hover-flies. There are also caterpillars, leather jackets, which become crane flies (also known as Daddy-long-legs), flies, butterflies and moths.

Spiders are arachnids rather than insects. Garden spiders and harvest spiders are the most common, although we sometimes see money spiders and some spiders which jump. The biggest spiders we find are house spiders. We catch them in a box and put them outside! Slugs and two kinds of snails are also garden residents.

We found the leaf-cutter bees, which set up their home in our garden very interesting. I wrote about them here.

My photos are of the more interesting ones we saw in 2018. They are from May, July and August. Some have been cropped to enlarge the image, which reduces the resolution.

Can you name any of the species?

So far I have identified a brimstone moth (yellow) and a poplar hawk-moth caterpillar. The hawk-moth caterpillars all have a horn at the rear end. The pale brown underwings belong to a blue butterfly.

My next post will be about the wildlife we have noticed this year.

A walk around Ennerdale Water

When we decided to go walking in Ennerdale our original plan was a walk, a picnic, a walk back and a visit to an art exhibition at The Gather at Ennerdale Bridge.

What actually happened was a leisurely walk with lots of stops to take photos, a picnic, a decision to continue all around the lake, an accidental fall, arriving back at the car park after The Gather had closed. Oh, and a chat with a dog-walker, which resulted in a possible attendance at a social event in the autumn. This time it was my turn to fall. I tripped because I was looking sideways at the scenery and missed a hazard on the path. Fortunately I could walk the last few hundred yards to the car park. Note to self: look where you are going!

It was the first time we had walked all the way round the lake. It is the sort of walk, where it is possible to see more or less how far there still is to go and how far to go back. There were two points at which going on seemed hazardous, but going back was too far. At Angler’s Crag the path is steep with loose stones and there is a steep rocky outcrop to climb down (or up if going the opposite way, although if we do this again, we’ll find a higher route). At the weir engineering work was in progress. It occurred to us that if the heavy machinery broke the bridge, we would have a long way to go back! Of course the work had been well-planned and the bridge was still there for us to cross.