Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer with a Vengeance

Small White Butterfly Since last posting, summer arrived with a vengeance. Until this weekend we have had virtually no rain for weeks. The temperature went up and stayed up, some days over 30 degrees centigrade, which is not a regular occurrence in this country.

We missed the thunder storms that have been moving across the country and the lawn is quite brown.

This is the first extended hot and dry period that we have had for quite a few years and there are some wildlife benefits - the butterflies have been out in force! Much has been written about the plight of butterflies and moths which have struggled for survival in the last few summers with the adverse weather. Hopefully, this year will see them bounce back. There are hundreds of them in the garden at the moment and I have been taking a few photos.

There are a lot of whites, both large and small. The photo above shows a small white.

Gatekeeper Butterfly
There are also dozens of Gatekeepers, shown above. They love bramble blossom and can be identified by the two white pupils in the eye spot.

The next is a Small Tortoiseshell taken in the conservatory. Not a very interesting background to the photo but I included it because it shows the detail on the wings so nicely. I have not seen any Tortoiseshells for several years so it was a welcome visitor. No photos, but I have also seen Peacocks, Red Admirals, Brimstones and Commas.
Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Other news in the garden - the jackdaws that I mentioned in the last post seem to have disappeared to be replaced by a family of crows. Interesting that I did not see both in the garden at the same time.

We have a cherry tree that each year bears fruit. However, as soon as the berries start to ripen, the birds come along and strip the whole tree. The berries usually disappear within 24 hours. But not this year. For some reason the birds are not eating the cherries and I don't understand why. Too many other things to eat perhaps? Something wrong with the berries? This is the first time in more than 25 years that we have lived here. Very strange. Photographic evidence below.

Plenty of apples on the trees this year, too. Last year there were no apples or pears at all.

Finally, I have not had time to get any decent photos of the roses which are doing very well this summer. But, I thought I would include this quick snap of one of the roses just outside our kitchen door. We just planted it last year and it is very pretty.

Fingers crossed that the summer weather continues!