Tuesday, July 8, 2014

And now for something completely different…..

Some butterflies and beetles I've spotted in the garden recently:

A Small Skipper butterfly. He looks so furry doesn't he. This one was in the long grass in the orchard. As I walked through I noticed that the Fleabane (see below) was flowering so I went to have a look.
Fleabane, a member of the Daisy plant family, is a wildflower so-named because in olden days it was burnt to rid the house of fleas! It's very attractive to several different butterflies and lots of other insects.
I spotted this other Small Skipper sitting on top of a plant of Fleabane which wasn't in flower at the time which made me wonder if the leaves give off a scent as well. He was quite happy to sit on my thumb whilst I took a few photos.

I love seeing the veins on their wings
Just look at his antennae, they're stripy and it looks as if he has 2 little horns!
Still in the long grass, I saw my first 6-Spot Burnet Moth which I wrote about in more detail in July last year
As I walked past the kitchen wall I noticed something in the pointing;

Can you see the little patch of green?
They certainly look as if they are bits of leaf, suggesting it might be the home of a leaf-cutter bee or wasp
This little chap nearly went unnoticed. I was moving a pot with this beautiful Hydrangea Quercifolia when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

Can you spot him? He's quite well camouflaged!
Here he is in all his glory and what a beauty he is. He's a yellow and black spotted Longhorn Beetle. When I posted a photo of him on Facebook, one of my friends said that the flowerbuds look like grapes, and so they do!
This hornet has decided to make her nest just to the side of the barn door  Great! You can't get any idea of her size from the photo but she is about 2.5cms and much bigger than the male who I've seen nipping in and out.
I nearly didn't spot this Toadflax Brocade Moth as I was putting my cardigan on the back of the patio chair.  From a distance his markings allow him to blend in with the grain of the wood. So clever.
On a completely different tack now, I found this in the leaf litter we'd dredged from one of the ponds. It's the bowl of an old clay pipe. The motif looks as if it could be an ox's horns, or perhaps a breed of cattle and it has the letters RA(C/G/Q?)B across the top. How intriguing!

Finally, going off at another tangent, I was ironing this small doily when I realised it's very similar to a lot of the mandalas that re all over the place at the moment. I still haven't made one for Lucy so I might use this as the basis for it. 

Btw, I made this in the 1970s out of very fine cotton and it only measure 4" across but I think it could easily be updated using a thicker cotton or 4ply synthetic yarn. In fact, I've seen quite a few designs like the central motif for which people are charging money for 'their' pattern but, although I don't still have the original pattern, I think this will be very easy to copy without parting with any money.

1 comment:

Holly said...

What lovely photos - I love the 6 spot moth and the beetle ones! I have just looked at the more detailed post you made - I had no idea ladybugs had no spots at first! Looking at your mandala has me thinking where I could put one in my home as it is so pretty and I haven't made one before but I see in blogland they are becoming very popular! Holly x