Sunday, 21 October 2018

Autumn colours at Bodenham Arboretum, Worcestershire. 17/10/2018

Once upon an Autumn Day.......Joseph.T.Renaldi
Once Upon an autumn day,
Colorful leaves began to fade
In the midst of a chilly, frosty air
As multitude of trees grew steadily bare.

Once upon an autumn day,
The whispering breeze was here to stay
Moving aimlessly through the countless trees
Scattering leaves with the greatest of ease.

Once upon an autumn day,
The leaves whirled freely in every way,
Until at last they came to rest
Finding a haven in which to nest.

Once upon an autumn day,
The trees were dormant, and the leaves lay
Waiting for the winter snow to fall
                 To quickly obscure them one and all.

Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

George Eliot.

Monday, 13 August 2018

A' Bee Fest' summer in my garden!

On the 3rd day of July I noticed Bumblebees flying around and entering a nest box in my garden!! On closer inspection (well after photographing) of the bees they were identified as Tree bumblebees! I was informed that they are a useful pollinator and completely harmless as long as you leave them alone.

I had read that nests live for  2-3 months and they were thankfully in a part of the garden where they could be left in peace. The activity around the box was never more than around a dozen at a time. By the middle of July the activity had ceased, so after a couple of weeks of making sure the nest had been abandoned the nest box was opened and sadly to reveal that a Wax Moth had laid eggs in the box and it was now infested with it's caterpillars! It was a big disappointment to see that the bee nest had been destroyed, a few dead bees were found amongst the nesting material. The caterpillars were removed from the tough silk tunnels they had made in which they would overwinter given the chance! These did not have the chance, they were fed to the fish in my pond!


A Leafcutter bee was sighted
carrying pieces of leaf and depositing them down into the gap that is between the frame of the chair and the seating material in order to make a nest!  The leaves unfortunately tumbled out of the gap at the bottom so all was in vain for the bee. I removed the chair to save the bee the effort on such a hot day!
Two days later a Wasp was seen flying in the garden with it's prey...a moth! I have never witnessed this before!

The last couple of weeks has seen the arrival of numerous wasps in the garden and indoors! Apparently it is the worst year we have seen for the invasion of them in gardens etc due to the hot weather we have experienced and enjoyed!
All in all up to now it has been a good, a great one!



Friday, 10 August 2018

Menorca in May continued.

What a delightful Summer we are having....the weather has been too hot to sit at a computer, I feel sure fellow bloggers will agree. ;-)

Today it is overcast and raining so time for a catch up!

Menorca in May continued:            
A popular cliff walk from Cala Galdana to Macarella was refreshing, it was good to have a good walk with great views. The walk through Pine woods, Wild Olives and Holm Oak provided some shelter and welcomed as the morning was starting to warm up!

Steps take you down to the beach at Macarella.....210 of them!
                                             Can you see a face or two?

Bunny Tails and I believe a species of Hawkweed looking delightful and in abundance.
                     A Woodchat Shrike was a lovely surprise to see on the walk!

                Holly Blue butterfly, I have read that it is a very common 'blue' on Menorca.

     I believe this is a Pyramidal Orchid. A pretty orchid and seen in several areas.
                      A Spotted Flycatcher that was 'spotted' on the return walk!

Also a Blue Rock Thrush was spotted close by and also the closest I have been to one!
Amazing to think that most birds were seen on the return walk and close to the start of the walk at Cala Galdana.( A lot of closeness going on here) ;-)

Common Vetch looking pretty!
Rock Roses also brightened the walk!

                                                 Galctites tomentosa. 
                                          A delicate looking Thistle species.
One of the fairly easy to walk paths on the walk though one had to look out for protruding stones, rocks and tree roots as I have been known to trip over roots etc in the past. Thankfully I managed the whole walk without a stumble!

                              There were insects aplenty on shrubs and wildflowers.
 Arum maculatum. Also known as  Lords and Ladies, Cuckoo-pint, Adam and Eve, Jack-in-the-pulpit to name just a few! This was the only plant found, unusual as usually I see several in any area I find them in the UK.

                                              Field Bindweed (I reckon).

                                     A Garden Snail enjoying a stroll.
Southern Brown Argus enjoying the nectar.

                                    A Migratory Locust enjoying the sunshine


               A Southern Common Blue enjoying the nectar and sunshine
                      Italian Wall Lizard                                   
( I have been informed that this is an introduced species of Lizard )

A Little Egret and Shag were a delight to watch as they fished at the mouth of the Algendar river.

                               Oxythrea funesta, a Mediterranean spotted chafer.
A Large White butterfly. Whites were seen in good numbers.

A pair of Spotted Flycatchers looking as though they are trying to ignore each other!

                          A Paper Wasp (I think) was spotted building a nest!
                              An amazing structure for such a small insect.
                                A snowflake? Well it is similar to one. ;-)
Daucus carota, more commonly known as Wild Carrot including Bird's nest, Bishop's lace and Queen Anne's lace.

                                                         Speckled Wood ?
The highlight of the holiday was hearing and seeing Eurasian Scops Owl nightly. They frequented a pitch and putt course about 100 yards away from our hotel on the lookout for a meal. A locust/grasshopper was caught on one of the swoops to the ground!
They attracted a few onlookers as we watched the Owls fly in to trees and perch on lamp posts and one time an Owl perched on a road sign on a small roundabout! It was quite surreal to see.
The Owls  (just 2 seen and heard, so probably a pair)  were most confiding, no doubt they were used to humans as they were perched close to pavements.

                       A great holiday and the Scops Owl made it extra special!