Perhaps I have cheated a bit for this week’s challenge from Cee Neuner: On the Hunt for Joy– Sit in the sunshine. The anatomy of a butterfly probably does not include what can politely be called a sit-upon! However coloured butterflies always make me feel happy. If they settle for long enough to have their portraits taken I’m even happier. For once I am including more than one photo. They are all butterflies, which are found in summer in Northern England.
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…
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.