Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Magnetism Of Inula Daisies

We have had the wettest June and July on record for the past 70 years. As a result, apart from a fleeting view of an orange-tip in April, we did not have our usual quota of butterflies at Barleycorn during the summer months.
I was therefore waiting with bated breath for the flowering of the inula daisies this month, as they always supply much-needed sustenance for many of the insects, bees and butterflies which visit the garden.
As the weather conditions improved, they began to appear slowly in dribs and drabs. I took some photographs of the variety of little creatures as they arrived each day. If you click on each picture you will see the actual dates when I photographed them, along with their names.
I took the little video, below this post, today, because most of the butterflies suddenly appeared. Being shy of humans, the small white and the red admiral flew off as I approached with my camera.
Not wishing to deprive them of their food, I'm happy to report that they returned for their share of the nectar once I retreated.
Our house borders a busy B road, with its fair share of passing traffic. Today, everyone seemed to be in their cars racing by at a great speed of noughts.
The sound made the butterflies flit to and fro.

Two tractor mowers, one on either side of our garden started their droning sounds. Forwards and back again, they began to hoover their owners' enormous lawns.
Cockerels and bantams from a neighbour's garden across the road began competing with each other to see who could crow the loudest.
All the while, next door's collie was having fun running up and down his garden pouncing on his squeaky toys.
I'm surprised the butterflies, insects and bees stayed long enough for me to capture them on video.

39 comments:

Barbara said...

After the video I saw some hours ago, I now admire the beautiful photos you made. Compliments!

Jean said...

Beautiful pictures! I love the daisy and the butterflies.

Nicole said...

Wow, what a great variety of insects visit these flowers, and such pretty shots, too. Shows how much we can do to attract and support wildlife.

Dirty Fingernails said...

I have never seen a butterfly like that one.. Is it native to just where you live??

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning, Barbara, and welcome once again. Lovely to have you visit my blog twice in one day :)I'm glad you like the photographs. I enjoy sharing them.

Thank you for introducing yourself, Jean. Lovely to meet you. The daisies are easy to grow and a great boon to the little creatures who find lots of nectar in them.

I agree with you entirely, Nicole. With little effort on our part we can do so much to help the wildlife.

How lovely of you to revisit my blog, dirty fingernails.

The butterflies are all European ones. The small white lays its eggs on brassicas, nasturtiums amongst other plants. Their larva survive the winters here in their chrysalids.

The small tortoiseshell and the peacock hibernate here too, though not in the far north of Europe.

We rarely see the Red Admiral till August. Their young hibernate in South Europe, though with climate change, some may overwinter in southern Britain.

ren.kat said...

You must be a person of extraordinary calm. (Or possess a very expensive zoom!).

Green thumb said...

The magnetism caught me too!
What a beautiful description of the life visiting the tip of a Daisy. It must require a whole lot of sensitivity towards the little creatures, to describe them the way you did.
Butterflies are gorgeous!

Ki said...

Wonderful pictures of the bees, flies and beautiful butterflies. I don't know how you manage to get that close to the butterflies. Most I've come upon are so skittish.

A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, and welcome to our little corner of paradise, ren.kat. Thank you for introducing yourself. I took the photos with my digital camera. It's a Fugifilm Finepix F11. It goes in as close as 2.5cms. But you are correct in saying it requires a lot of patience, as the butterflies are shy creatures and don't like being disturbed. I wait till they are feeding so as to get in as close as possible :)

Welcome, dear Green Thumb. Thank you for revisiting our garden. Butterflies are gorgeous, I agree. The irridescence on their wings is a wonder to behold, and through a telescope they are simply awesome :)

A warm welcome, ki. Thank you for commenting on two of my blogs today. I feel very honoured. As I said in my post, I took the photos over many days. The video was taken on the one day when the bonanza of butterflies magically appear. I have looked for them and waited patiently every day for three weeks. Many days were wet, so we had none. Today is windy and there are none.

Em said...

What awesome photos! The butterflies are just beautiful.

A wildlife gardener said...

Good afternoon, em, and a warm welcome to you again. I love their fleeting visits. Can't get enough of them...magical little creatures which lift the spirits :)

Z said...

We've seen fewer butterflies this year too, although there seem to be the usual number of Red Admirals about now. Lovely pictures and video, I know I'm a sentimental old thing, but I almost cried with pleasure!

farmingfriends said...

These photographs are stunning and what an amazing flower that just attracts so many insects. Thanks for sharing.
Sara from farmingfriends

Ruth Welter said...

WG, what beautiful photos, flowers, bugs and butterflies. I loved the video and it was set to beautiful music as well. Here in NY, we have had the opposite of you, a very dry summer. I feel like I'm out all the time with my hose to water everything.

A wildlife gardener said...

Welcome to our little corner of paradise, z. I know exactly what you mean. They are so precious. We must do everything we can ensure their survival.

A warm welcome to you too, Sara, from farmingfriends. Simple daisies with so much nectar... Perfect for the butterflies and all the insects and bees :)

Hello, Ruth. Lovely to see you again. Our weather systems have been very strange this past summer, I agree. Glad you enjoyed the photos and the video. I enjoy sharing with everyone.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh wow! I need some inula--what a great flower they seem to be for attracting a little bit of everything! (The first butterfly--is that the peacock?--is my favorite.)

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning , blackswamp_girl, and a very warm welcome to you. It is the peacock with its amazing spots which fox the birds into thinking they are enormous eyes, so they avoid eating it. If you click on each picture to enlarge it you will find its name and the date when it visited the garden :)

Lisa W said...

Lovely photos. The butterflies are beautiful and the daisies are so cheerful!

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you for introducing yourself, lisa w, and a very warm welcome to our little corner of paradise. The daisies brighten up the garden at this time of year when the light is not always so bright. The butterflies make the flowers come to life and give them a purpose in the garden :)

kate said...

Oops ... I just managed to delete my comment before I posted it. The video was fun to watch. You did a great job of it!

The Inula daisies are beautiful ... I love their petals. I could just imagine the scene - the mowers going, the dog running and the chickens trying to outdo one another.

It made for good reading on this sunny Sunday morning here - there is now a lawnmower going although earlier the only sounds were of the pond fountain.

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to you, Kate, to our little corner of paradise. It was great fun to do.

The surrounding noise was unbelievable! They all seemed to be competing to see who could make the most noise. I was glad the butterflies ignored it all :)

Andrea's Garden said...

I saw an admiral today on my buddleja and it looked a little handicapped with its damaged wing. There weren't too many around this year so far. Your pictures are really beautiful. Andrea

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning, Andrea, and a warm welcome to you on this sunny, early Autumn day.

It's always sad to see the bumble bees and the butterflies when they are coming to the end of their life-cycle. Thank you for the compliments :)

Naturegirl said...

Now I know where all our rain fell!!
Your climate opposite to what we experienced!!
The daisies are magnificent attracting all those winged visitors
dancing and buzzing with JoY!!
Lovely images of the butterflys!
hugs NG

A wildlife gardener said...

Good afternoon to you, Nature Girl. Lovely to see you again. We have had all your rain...and you our sunshine :) Glad you liked the butterflies.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Go and live in the countryside, they say. For some nice peace and quiet, they say. How little do *they* know. LOL

Well WG, lovely pics of butterflies and bees regardless of all the racket that was going on!

A wildlife gardener said...

Good evening, yolanda elizabet, and a warm welcome back. I hope you had a lovely holiday.

Yes, it's funny how everyone imagines life in the countryside is quiet and peaceful :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the bees and butterflies. they certainly turned a deaf ear to it all :)

martin said...

Lovely....

A wildlife gardener said...

Hi, Martin. Welcome back. Hope you're having a great time with Wendy :) Glad you enjoyed the post :)

Catherine said...

I am not familar with that daisy, but I like it, and Quite a variety of insects liking it too!
Great photo's...I can't tell if the daisy makes the butterflies more lovely, or if the Butterflies are adding more beauty to the daisy's...they sure complement each other well!!
LOve the composition of all the diffrent insects on the same type of flower...very nice!!

Thanks for sharing!!
Catherine

A wildlife gardener said...

Good morning , Catherine, and thank you for introducing yourself. Welcome to our little corner of paradise.

The bees, insects and butterflies bring the daisies to life :) They certainly make a good combination.

Thank you for the compliments. I enjoy sharing the garden and all its delights with everyone :)

~Becky said...

These are some of the BEST photos i have ever seen of bees on pretty flowers and all.
Just wonderful!

Thalia said...

Dear Wildlife gardener,

It's simply wonderful to be back again to your blog! The winged beauties and the bright flowers are simply fantastic! I had been terribly busy with work for the last few months and now that I am back I shall read all the posts on your blog that I have missed!

Tina Trivett said...

What lovely pictures. Fabulous! So glad to have found your blog. :)

Linda Lunda said...

Vilken underbar blogg! Suveräna foton!
Linda

Bimbimbie said...

oh Tigger, how timely, gorgeous photo and video *!* I'm just planning to start a butterfly/insect section of the garden. I don't think I've seen that stunning Inula daisy here, I'll have to look into it. From what you know of your insect visitors is yellow their main attracting colour? We have just entered into Spring and just the odd butterfly to be seen so far, bees of course are already busy collecting pollen from the pansies and snapdragons which have self seeded from last year but I'd like to plant some other attracting feeding stations for them ..... any suggestions taken on board *!*

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Hi, wildlife gardener... just checking in. I keep seeing just the Inula daisies post (which is lovely) but no updates... so I wanted to make sure you're still doing well. :)

Libbys Blog said...

Hope all is well with you and your family. As you have not been blogging for a while.

A wildlife gardener said...

Thank you, Becky. You are too kind :)

Dear Thalia, how wonderful to have you back. I've missed you :)

Welcome, tina trivett, to our little corner of paradise. Lovely to meet you.

And a warm welcome to you, too, linda lunda. Thank you for introducing yourself.

Hello, again, bimbimbie, and welcome. I'm so glad you are going to start a border for your insects and butterflies. I find ours go to all kinds of colourful flowers in the garden. They love red, pink and purple buddleia too and all kinds of summer bedding. At the moment they are feasting on our Michaelmass daisies, which are deep purple, pale mauve and white.

Thank you blackswamp_girl and libby for asking after my welfare. We have been on a three week trip to China. I hope to post some photos on my Wildlife Gardener Visits blog shortly.