Taking a few days holiday recently was a really good idea. Often the summer can rush in very quickly and suddenly you realise it’s the middle of June. We’ve been able to slow down and appreciate it this year, especially when we got to give a woodland tour to friends visiting for the first time. There were lots of small creatures on display in the woods and there has been plenty of activity in the garden too.
We’ve had this moth before but never caught it for a photo, this is a Blood-Vein moth.
This is a first for the garden, a Small Rivulet moth, camouflaged effectively on the fence.
These beetles caught the eye of our friends in the wood (especially as they were at just the right height for a 3 year old to spot!) and this one was in the garden contrasting spectacularly with a buttercup. The buttercups have been bright and beautiful this year.
There aren’t many non-native plants in the garden, because we focus on creating habitats for wildlife. We grow lots of food plants for creatures of all kinds (and at all stages, including larvae of insects) and we don’t tidy up too much, keeping plenty of thick vegetation and big piles of prunings where things can live, hide and feed. We’ve also made this ‘hotel’ by drilling holes in a bit of tree trunk and fixing it to a sunny wall in the woodshed. Spiders have been using the biggest holes, and solitary bees and wasps like the small ones.
The most exciting discovery in the garden was this:
There are at least six of these, and they are Six-Spot Burnet moth pupae (or possibly Five-Spot, we won’t know until they come out!) This is a first for our mini-meadow. They need long grasses, so they are exactly the kind of creature we created the mini-meadow for. The adult moth is black with deep red spots, a thing of wonder, and we can’t wait to see them! Here is a photo from another site in 2007 –
Deborah Levy – Hot Milk
Jessie Burton – The Muse
Neel Mukherjee – State of Freedom
Paul Kalanithi – When Breath Becomes Air
Manic Street Preachers – International Blue
Years & Years – Sanctify
Christine & The Queens Girlfriend
James – Better than That
Patty Griffin – Kite Song
Muna – I Know a Place
Hot Chip – Slush
The National – England