Birds and Bees
Parasols in the Park.
Most of the photographs in the gallery are included within the main text of the diary. In a similar fashion to the diary all the photos will enlarge if left clicked. All photographs have been taken by myself unless otherwise stated.
Brimstone butterfly, blending in.
Silver-washed Fritillary f. valesina.
Red Admiral on Buddleia.
The common factor in the areas proving to have the greatest attraction to the butterflies at present is that in recent years we have disturbed the soil and encouraged the growth of high yeilding nectar bearing plants. It may be that the reason for the concentration of butterflies in the areas in question is that many of the plants are deep rooted and able to withstand the recent dry spell continueing to produce nectar. The Clover crop so attractive to the insects earlier in the Summer is now long gone and plants such as; Hemp agrimony, Purple loosestrife, Thistle, Teasel and Ragwort are now the plants of preference. Even Burdock, a plant I have long disliked due to its habit of velcroing itself to anything that comes into contact with it, is proving extremely popular with the butterflies. I may have to change my views of the spiky thing and allow it to remain in greater stands. We have several Buddleia that attract butterflies but as in the case of other invasives we are no longer encouraging its growth. Ragwort is also contentious as we have a legal obligation to ensure seed does not leave our boundaries and where it is likely to do so we remove it. Where it is further from the boundary and unlikely to carry in the wind areas for the insects are left. Its a difficult balance to ensure we do not encourage this invasive but we find disturbed soil is the key. In established grassland Ragwort has difficulty getting root holds, rabbit scrapes and our activities with the machines encourages the growth but eventually the native flora establishes preventing or at least reducing the Ragwort load.