Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Monday was a Warm Lazy Day

Last Monday was the first time for many a day since I set up the Sun umbrella and the folding canvas chair and sat out in the garden for a few hours with the camera in my lap.

There are just two plants which are attracting dozens of insects. One is a line of four lavender bushes in the front garden. These have been attracting a continuous stream of scores of bumble bees and dozens of butterflies. The butterfly population is mainly Large Whites along with a few smaller white varieties. I pity any neighbours growing brassicas with such a large population looking for breeding grounds. I tried for some video of the lavender - not the best but does give an impression of the activity.

Wide view of the Large Whites
Close shot of a Small Tortoiseshell
Close shot of my first view of a Painted Lady
Finally a very world weary, wind battered Red Admiral on a fence. (The only one I have seen so far this year)

The other plant which has attracted bumble bees, butterflies and the occasional day flying moth is growing just over the fence in next door's garden.

Bumble Bees
Bumble Bees

Small Tortoiseshell
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Peacock Butterfly

Painted Lady
Painted Lady Butterfly

I kept seeing white butterflies landing on the lawn - well I say lawn but there is more clover than grass this year! It was the clover which was attracting this one - a Green-veined? which was laying its eggs under the clover leaves.

White Butterfly Laying Eggs

It has been very windy from time to time and many of the butterflies were looking the worse for wear. This is the Red Admiral from the video. It sat on the fence for a while soaking up the sun. I can't remember how long it is since I have seen one of these in the garden.

Wind Battered Red Admiral Butterfly

There are still plenty of Hoverflies about and the lily flower shown a few days ago is still attracting many. They investigate everything including the seed feeders.


... and various other plants

... including this onion flower head which also sheltered a crop of tiny black beetles.

Onion Flower Head

Bobby had taken up one of his favourite positions in the entrance to the shed where he could find a bit of shade and still keep an eye on me.

I'm Not Really Asleep

Not many birds came to visit the feeders as I was fairly close to them. Those that did kept a watchful eye on me.

Oi Don't Point That Camera at Me

One young Sparrow arrived with parent and continually fluttered its wings to remind the adult it was feeding time.

I'm Still Hungry Pa

A couple of House Sparrows peered down to see if it was their turn for the seed feeder....

Is It Our Turn on the Feeder Yet

... and a Starling showed off his new coat of many colours.


The adult Starlings have little trouble balancing on the fat ball feeders but the juveniles find it a problem trying to grip the slippery wires.

Finally a seven spot Ladybird investigating the clover leaves. I wonder if it found the White Butterfly's eggs?

Seven Spot Ladybird

Wow - if you made it to the end, thanks for visiting.


  1. Brilliant John!! Of course I'd make it to the end :-D

    Loved the butterfly video... spookily it was hoverflies on drumstick alliums I nearly took my video camera out for earlier this morning.

    Wonderful photos too… great to look back on during any rainy days. You and your garden residents (incl Bobby) made the most of your sunny summer day. Hope you get a few more like this :-D

  2. A lovely post John, no trouble at all reaching the end. A lovely array of photos and entertaining videos and nice to see your Lavender entertaining so many colourful visitors! I have noticed far fewer butterflies visiting the garden this year but of course we had two years where the weather wasn't conducive to them and now this Summer isn't turning out much better. Needless to say it is raining here! I loved the shot of Bobby snoozing :)

  3. A pleasure to watch your butterfly video, John - I think I will revisit that in the depths of winter. Is that neighbouring tree Privet? Coincidentally the only Red Admiral I've seen was basking on a fence - they must like warm wood.

  4. Thank you kindly, Shirl. Good sitting out weather seems to be a rarity this year. Temperatures are well up but it nearly always rains or tries to for part of the day.

  5. Hi Jan. Thanking you. My readers obviously have plenty of stamina :) Just what are you doing to attract so much rain? Mind you for what is normally a dry part of the country we seem to have had more than enough this year.

    The lavender bushes have only been in two years and have grown so very large. I have been amazed how many flutterbys they attract. Quite a few Painted Ladies today.

    If I took a photo of Bobby every hour for a day 23 would look something like that one :)

  6. Hi Rob. Pleased you liked the butterfly video. I nearly didn't bother with that as it is difficult to see anything clearly.

    You could be right about the Privet. I had no idea but checking a few pictures on line it certainly looks like it. It is right next to the fence and I cut back the overhanging bits every year. It certainly seems to attract plenty of flying insects.

  7. Great shots John, particularly the Hoverfly caught in flight, with clear wing definition

  8. Thank you Prof. A B Y. Pure luck on the Hoverfly in flight. It was sat on the flower when I started shooting.

  9. Great post John, and cracking pictures and videos. That lavender is a real magnet.
    Made it to the end, and enjoyed every bit of it. :)

  10. Hi again John, I think it must have been all those rain dances I did when we had our very brief heatwave some weeks ago!! I hope poor Bobby doesn't know how you malign him :)

  11. Great post John and what an amazing number of flutters you've had visiting. I think it is a Green veined white that you had a visit from.

    Your ladybird reminds me that I've not seen many this year; just hope its my lack of observation rather than they're not there to be seen. But seem to have seen more Hover flies than before!

  12. Thank you kindly Keith. Nice bright conditions does help a lot with taking clear photos. I only planted the Lavender as I love the smell. The insect invasion has been a real bonus.

  13. Hi again Jan. Now we know how the farmers feel when they need different weather conditions! Lots of grain left to be harvested around the village. All this damp must be really frustrating as well as a possible loss of revenue.

  14. Hi Tricia. Thank you. It is nice when I don't have to go hunting for the flutters. I have not seen many ladybirds about this year either. If I remember correctly their numbers often increase a while after there is an increase in hoverflies. We shall see.
    There are several different flutterbys around the hedges down this lane but the once it was dry enough to take a camera the wind got up and there was not one to be seen. Such are the frustrations of nature photography.

  15. I have seen more butterflies this year than I have for a long time. Great that you found a native British 7-spot ladybird! I love that picture of Bobby, they do tend to find strategic spots to rest so that they can keep half an eye on everything going on!

  16. This is a great post. So many interesting things to look at. Thank you. :)

  17. There do seem to have been more insects of all sorts this year Matron. I think most house pets like to make sure they don't miss anything. When we went on the cricket field a couple of days ago there were many 7 spot Ladybirds flying about so they do seem to be thriving round here.

  18. Thank you for visiting Pam and your kind comment. I was worried that it was rather a long post this time.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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