Once again a day off at home trying to work in the garden, but the sun was a bit much so productivity was rather low!
However the day started with a look through the moth trap, most of the moths would have been attracted before midnight when it was warmer, but as the minimum was 14 degrees some will have been active throughout. The pick of the catch were a couple of hawk-moths.
Lime hawk caterpillars eat the leaves of lime trees, but also birch. Many hawk-moths are named after the larval foodplant, or at least one of them. The privet hawk-moth caterpillars eat privet, but also lilac and ash, it is our largest resident hawk-moth.
Other moths caught were buff-tip, heart and dart, treble lines, flame shoulder, light brocade and fox moth.
The sun brought a few butterflies out, I saw a male common blue and a female brimstone in the garden during the early afternoon.
The sun also encouraged a fair few hoverflies to feed on flowers in the borders.
Eventually I gave up on the garden and went out for a walk in the New Forest, luckily I live close enough not to need to drive there. The recent wet weather has filled a lot of the small ponds and each one seemed to have a broad-bodied chaser or two.
There were also good numbers of emperor and four-spotted chaser too.
The New Forest is one of the largest areas of semi-natural open space in Southern England, although a “Forest” it has a lot of wide open treeless areas. This is because a forest in this context is a place where deer were hunted rather than, as we tend to think today, a place dominated by trees. To pick up on the theme of Jo’s post of the other day and also highlight a particular problem within the Forest, I did see a couple of invasive alien species on my short walk. Both were attractive escapes from cultivation and wetland species.
In the background of this shot is another invasive, the white water-lily.
What’s in My Meadow Today?
Although it is perhaps not really a meadow plant I do have a few wild carrot plants in the meadow, like all umbellifers they are very attractive to insects, so I allow them in. The flowers are only just opening and actually look rather interesting just before the flowers open with the head enclosed caged.
Two days gone, just another 28 to go!