Thursday, 3 September 2009

Flutterings At Our Little Corner Of Paradise

Hoverflies, Episyrphus Balteatus, On Inula Daisy

Although the weather in August, here at Barleycorn, mostly consisted of wall-to-wall rainfall, there were sufficient dry spells between the showers for me to capture a few treasured moments with a variety of insects at the nectar bars.

Painted Lady Butterfly On Inula Daisy

This year, although Britain has had an influx of the Painted Lady butterflies, I have seen very few of them here at Barleycorn because of the heavy showers. But, even a few moments of magic colours my life with immeasurable joy and delight.

Large White Butterfly On Inula Daisy

Perhaps it's because they are so fleeting and rare that I appreciate their visits so much. Their intrinsic beauty speaks for itself. Who could not wonder at their diaphanous, gossamer wings, their irridescent colours, the lightness of their presence?

Peacock Butterfly On Inula Daisy

Who could not marvel at the rich chestnut colouring and the amazing 'eyes' of the majestic Peacock butterfly? My heart skips a beat every time I catch a glimpse of them feeding at my inula daisies. I normally have sightings of half a dozen Peacocks. But, this year, sadly, the visit felt very poignant as there was only one.

Small White Butterfly On Inula Daisy

Happily, there were lots of Small Whites in the garden. The green veining under their wings is most attractive. Of all the butterflies which visit the garden, these ones are most skittish when I approach them gently to take a photograph.

Red Admiral On Ligularia

The presence of the Red Admiral butterfly in the garden is like watching a glider in action. The slow, deliberate wingbeats, coupled with their striking black wings fringed with orange-y red, makes a huge impact.

Tortoiseshell On Ligularia

The Small Tortoiseshell does well in this area, managing to overwinter in warm places such as the crevices in our barn. In the month of May I sometimes find myself freeing their wings which have become temporarily entangled on spiders' webs on the barn windows, while being dried in the sunshine, before flying off to find their first meal of the year.

Silver-Y Moth On Ligularia

This beautiful, day-flying moth came to feast on the ligularia beside the back pond. It hovered almost the whole time while it combed the plant, and, so voracious, that it seemed to go at a pace of knots. I was not familiar with its name and spent a whole afternoon searching websites and my own guide to identify it. The Y in its name comes from the white marking resembling the letter Y on its front wings.

Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Bumble Bee On Ligularia

I was extremely fortunate to capture this photograph as the rain had stopped for what seemed like a fraction of a second during a day of non-stop showers. I edged my way, slowly, near the plant, as surreptitiously as I could, so as not to disturb them, and managed to take a little video, when, all of a sudden, there was another sudden outburst, and we never saw them again that day.

Female Bumble Bee, Bombus Terrestris On Inula

It is always a delight to find bees and Bumble bees in the garden, more so now than ever, as they are in danger, with many of them susceptible to diseases. I especially love their droning, as they accompany me around the garden on hot Summer days. But, after so much rainfall, I appreciate their serenading even more. They give me a feeling of hope. I always feel they are gentle creatures, here on earth to do the most amazing job of pollinating our plants. In Sichuan Province in China they have to pollinate plants by hand as all their bees were wiped out by chemicals.

Bluebottle, Callifora Vomitoria On Inula Bud

Even the common bluebottle has to feed and they compete with the hoverflies, the bees and the butterflies at the nectar-rich flowers. I keep them out of the house as far as I am able. But, I don't mind them in the garden as they feed the frogs and the birds.

The three videos below are made up of photographs and video clips taken during the month of August. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did filming them. My hubbie often says I have the happy knack of knowing where the Wild Things are, and in spite of all the monsoon rains we have been having, I do think it's more than just good luck that I managed to capture these beautiful creatures on film.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wildie! So glad to read (or really view!) this wonderful post. Love all the bright colors and varieties of pollinators. Can't help but smile!

Z said...

It's been a wonderful year for insects. Lovely pictures as always, and thank you.

Cheryl said...

Dear Wildlife gardener.....there is so much beauty in your gardens....butterflies are indeed fleeting, pretty as they dance across the landscape.
We had many painted ladies here.....when they entered UK they flew across my gardens in the hundreds....I have never seen anything like it. My little Grandson was here at the time. We both sat silently and just watched these beautiful creatures........

The Y moth is a regular visitor here.....they fly in from France I believe. I did not realise they reached bonnie Scotland.....

Charm and Grace said...

Wow, your photos amaze me! Just gorgeous.. and the video too. Thank you for sharing them with us.


A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to our little corner of paradise, Everyone :)

* Glad you enjoyed the post,'s good to smile :)

* Great to have your company, Z...with all the rain we're continuing to have, people around here are wondering if I've been to the Butterfly Farm, as they've not seen any this year due to the monsoons :)

* Dear Cheryl, I would love to have been with you and your grandson the day the Painted Lady butterflies flew in...I would have been so silent, overcome with awe :)

Re the appearance of the Silver-Y moth, I'm not familiar with it hereabouts, so that was exciting too :)

* Lovely to meet you, are most welcome in the Barleycorn garden ...and thank you for the compliments :)

Laura Paine Carr said...

Now I resolve to find some Inula Daisies! What a wonder filled post (as usual I must say!)... and interesting that today I too, posted a marvel of a Bumblebee ;-) Yours though, has such a pretty white bum! Thank you again for sharing Barleycorn with us!

A wildlife gardener said...

* Good Morning to you, Swallowtail, and welcome to our little corner of paradise :)

I, too, love the bumblies with their furry, I'll be popping over to see the one you've posted :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Good Morning to you, Swallowtail, and welcome to our little corner of paradise :)

I, too, love the bumblies with their furry, I'll be popping over to see the one you've posted :)

linda may said...

G'Day, I came by for a look see to see if you had been back in here to leave me any more of your treasures to enjoy. I was not disappointed.

Michelle said...

So many gorgeous butterflies, some I've never seen before! I have NO luck photographing the shy things; I probably need a better zoom so I can stand back more.

Jeanne said...

Gorgeous my lovely friend
I love butterflies
I love you


Hello WG. (Yanks have to shorten everything, you know) Your post is wonderful! I loved all the varieties of butterflies. So beautiful! Your choice of background music for the videos is so nice too.

Thanks for stopping by my place and telling me about this and inquiring about me. I am quite fine and have been enjoying the summer. I am actually working on my next post. Sorry to be so slow, life keeps getting in the way of my posting and so does FaceBook which can be a terrible time waster.

Thanks again.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Such beauties! I am always entranced by flying flowers. Please be grateful for your plentiful rain--we are in a two year drought and under water restrictions. Seems like it is feast or famine, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Glorious shots - and thanks for sharing! I don't think there have been as many butterflies this year in the garden - hardly any have visited the sedum plants in the flower beds. Such a pity. I was at a National Trust garden on Friday and spotted lots of Red Admirals and one peacock, but then the rain came, and I think they all had to dash for shelter.

I won't be back in Edinburgh for another two weeks - I'm not sure if there'll be any butterflies left at the Botanic Gardens!

A wildlife gardener said...

Lovely to welcome you all on this blustery day in September :)

* Great to have your company, Linda May...and thank you for your generous comments :)

* How are you, Michelle? Lovely to have your company in the garden, took lots of patience and perseverance, not to mention running in and out between heavy showers, to find the butterflies...but, worth it in the end. My camera is a Caplio R6 :)

* Dear Jeanne, butterflies and the other flying insects are the fairies of the garden, bringing their own particular, if fleeting, colourful magic to our lives :)

* I am glad you are well and enjoying life, need to explain why you blog when you have the time...I, myself, only manage to post about once a month nowadays. I'm glad you liked the accompanying music...I do spend time carefully choosing the music :)

* Global warming has a lot to answer for where gardening is concerned, Morning Glories in Round Rock...feast or famine indeed. Flooding or drought? Both are a trial to cope with... :)

* Welcome, are right, with all the rain we have had here this summer, there has been a dearth of butterflies, more's the pity... :)

Deb said...

Absolutely gorgeous post & photos!

A wildlife gardener said...

* Welcome, Deb, and thank you very much for your encouraging comments :)

Q said...

Thank you for this post, the video and the slide beautiful. I feel as if I have just walked in your gardens.
I also love the butterflies and will miss them when winter comes.
So wonderful to catch up with you this afternoon.

The Wessex Reiver said...

As has been said in earlier comments your postings are always uplifting, colours help of course but just a joy to red through another posting from your corner of paradise :-)

SandyCarlson said...

These are spectacular.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for you to be able to see all this in your garden. Thanks for sharing.

Father Time said...

Your butterfly photos are awesome. Really a treat to see so many different ones.

Sorrow said...

It was so wonderful to see the color of these magnificent insects in your garden.
That peacock one is Spectacular!
It must be such fun to sit in stillness and wait for them to alight upon a bloom.
this was such a feast for my eyes!
Thank you for sharing your garden once again!

Sheila said...

These are wonderful photos and videos. The variety of birds, insects and flowers in your garden always leaves me feeling refreshed.
It's like taking a mini vacation!
Your hubby is right you do have a knack when it comes to this. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Another wonderful stroll through your beautiful garden, the butterflies, bees even flies are all part of our gardens and if we try to remove them we will have no life in our world, every creature has a purpose. There is beauty in every thing, when I read your blog and other peoples comments I have to confess I am always glad to know that lots of people still care.

A wildlife gardener said...

Good afternoon, and welcome to our little corner of paradise, Everyone :)

* Lovely to have your company in the garden, Sherry...Fellow butterfly-lover. Thank you for your encouraging comments :)

* Great to see you again, Quicksilvercountry...and to share everything with you :)

* Glad you liked them dear Sandy :)

* A warm welcome, Lusks...lovely to meet you :)

* Love to meet you, too, Flash Back...glad you appreciate the magic of butterflies too :)

* The peacocks are spectacular, dear Sorrow...but, I love 'em all...and, with all our recent rain, I'm amazed to have been visited by so many :)

* Always a pleasure to see you, dear Sheila...the wildlife cheers the gloomiest days... :)

* You are quite correct, Duxbury Ramblers, everything has its place in the magical web of life, even the humble flies...thanks for stopping by :)

Green thumb said...

Going through your posts always makes me feel as if I am watching a very well cinematographed episode of National Geographic. You have a knack of capturing nature dear W.G.
Nature, if it ever needs a brand ambassador, will have to choose you:-)

Dawn said...

Dear WLG,

Super videos! What fun to see how happy your cat is in your lovely garden. >^~,~^<
I adore your butterfly photos; especially the Peacock Butterfly, which is new to me. Well captured!


A wildlife gardener said...

* A warm welcome, once more, to our little corner of paradise, dear Green Thumb :)

I am so glad you enjoyed my efforts to capture the beauty of the butterflies and insects visiting Barleycorn this month.

Thank you so much for your humbling comments...I have a Cheshire cat smile now :)

* Great to have your company in the garden, dear Dawn, fellow cat-lover and fellow Nature-lover :)

The exquisite peacock butterfly is well-named and its fleeting presence treasured in our garden.

With all this praise I am positively purring now :)

Sunita Mohan said...

What a colourful corner of Paradise! I love your garden visitors.

joey said...

Oh, I've so missed my visits! As always, a delight to rest for a moment in your 'Little Corner of Paradise'. Yes, your dear hubbie knows you well ... you do have a knack ... both photos and videos are stunning. It's hard to imagine that summer has passed ... may the waning autumn days fill your soul with glee :) (((BIG HUGS)))

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to our little corner of paradise :)

* Welcome to you, Sunita...beautiful name you have...lovely to have your company here at Barleycorn :)

I love to share the garden with you all :)

* It's like greeting a friend when you visit me, dear Joey :)

Thank you for all your endearing comments...and I wish you enough Autumn bliss to fill you with joy :)

Miranda Bell said...

Gorgeous photos as always... it's been a great year for butterflies - we have very similar ones here infact and it's been great seeing so many at this time of year in the continued warm weather we're having in France... sorry I've not been visitng as much recently... wish there were more hours in the day! Take care Miranda x

A wildlife gardener said...

* Great to have your company, dear Miranda...always a pleasure :)

I wish I could eacho your comment about being a great year for butterflies...the visits of the ones I posted were all savoured for their fleetingness...but, I'm so glad they are thriving in your sunny clime :)

I know what you mean about time...I only manage to blog about once a month nowadays :)

Barbara said...

Just great your little films as well as the photos (and I liked to watch them with the appropriate music :-). Stunning too is the fact, that you can film without moving your hands. That's still quite difficult for me :-(! We've had a beautiful September too with a lot of butterflies...again visiting the verbena bonariensis. It's always a great pleasure to silently watch them.
Hope you'll have a wonderful October now!

Bimbimbie said...

This made me smile

"I sometimes find myself freeing their wings which have become temporarily entangled on spiders' webs"

That's a lovely yellow gathering you had there this summer WG*!*

A wildlife gardener said...

* Wonderful to have your company, dear Barbara :)

I'm so glad you like the videos. I'm trying to keep my blog fresh with new ideas this year...watching butterflies is awesome :)

* Smiling is good,, I'm glad to pass one on...I find I am smiling (and laughing) at myself and my antics more and more as I grow older... :)

Kathleen said...

Now I know where all our butterflies are ~ at Barleycorn! You have a wonderful collection of these beautiful winged visitors. I missed seeing them in my garden this year. A sighting was rare ~ I thought it was the weather?

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