Thursday, 18 September 2008

The end of summer

Autumn is quickly approaching. The leaves on some lime branches are already yellow and a few brown leaves rustle on the ground. The squirrels have dropped some early conkers they have nibbled. But today is a bright, warm day, with lots of butterflies. A Speckled Wood was sunning itself in the park and a Comma, a Small White and a Large White visited the garden in the morning.
We walked past one of the last buddleias in good bloom. It is now the end of the buddleia flowering season and this particular bush teems with butterflies today. I count six Red Admirals (probably already migrating south) , three Small Tortoiseshells (ready to hibernate) and a Large White.
One Small Tortoishell fed on the dandelions amongst the grass.
Other insects included a queen Bombus lapidarius, velvety black and red feeding on Agapanthus, and B. pascuorum, the most common bumblebee these days, on Sedum spectabile (below).
Lots of Araneus diadematus. One five-legged male creeps close to a female's web.
Another female nearby spins its web.
The large ivy is not flowering yet, although it's got lots of buds.

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