Thursday, 19 June 2014

My Patch in June!

Well June is really in bloom, we have roses galore since the beginning of the month, and far more prolific than I have seen them in a few years! Such a welcoming sight in the driveway.

Apart from flowers which I could rave about, I have had a few discoveries - for some it maybe quite normal to have spotted them before - for me however new and exciting sightings!

Firstly I will share my yearly shot of the beautiful HummingBird Hawkmoth
  "The Hummingbird Hawk-moth is a small, day-flying hawk-moth. Hummingbird Hawk-moths are summer visitors,  In some years, they can be common and may frequently be seen in gardens hovering like hummingbirds to feed on the nectar of Honeysuckle, Red Valerian and many other flowers. They can also be found in woodland edge, heath and shrubby habitats. The caterpillar feeds on various species of bedstraw, so the female adult moth lays her eggs on the buds or flowers of these plants"  
I love them, I could watch them for hours and yes sometimes I spend a good hour trying to get another shot of it's amazing whirring body as it works itself around the Lavender bushes! I was delighted to count as many as 10 in one area on Monday! 

at flight between stems

Last week was the turn of the Green Tree Frog - we discovered him in our swimming pool sitting happily on the pump area, but we needed to empty and clean the pool so I had the wonderful job of holding him and re-homing him! 

The trouble is every time I went to go and do something else in the garden, I ended up going back to the Frog to see where he was and what he was up to! I also regret not changing lenses but the Sigma is playing up again so it's more hassle than it's worth in many ways as the 200mm still gets the shot but of course I can't get in so close!

I then discovered this insect and no amount of googling has given me a definitive answer as yet - I think I might have to do a "shout out" and see if anyone knows? My last results show a Common Long Horned Beetle, so if it is then that's another newly spotted critter in the garden!

On my travels around the garden I have also spotted the "long horned Bee"  endangered in the UK but hopefully it will migrate here and have a chance!

And if that wasn't enough for new discoveries in the same week we found "aliens" in our bucket of water - oh ok, they are not really aliens but I am sure I could be forgiven for thinking along those lines? 
 Drone Fly Larvae or Rat tailed Maggots. The "Tail" is actually a snorkel to help them breath - how clever is Mother Nature? 
 Drone-Flies don’t just mimic the appearance of honeybees, they fly like them too. Recent research has shown that the flight behaviour of Eristalis tenax is more similar to the flight of the honeybee than to that of related flies.
Because ‘rat-tailed maggots’ are associated with unsavoury rotting material in stagnant water, archaeologists who have found the remains of many of these larvae in deposits from a site in central London believe this confirms that the city must have been a very smelly place in medieval times.

And last but really not least - we found a Glow Worm - I haven't seen many of these around over the years, such a bright little fella this one!
"The adults (of both sexes) cannot feed and live only a short time. They glow, but only intermittently. Their sole purpose is to mate, and for the female to lay eggs. Adult insects are poor fliers and so will often remain in the same area, building a colony of glowworms. The female lays a total of about 130 eggs, in clumps of 40 or 50, and dies soon after laying. The eggs hatch after about 20 days and the cycle repeats.
The larvae are sensitive to light and disturbance and will retreat into their nests and stop glowing if they or their snares are touched. Generally they have few predators. Their greatest danger is from human interference."

This is what I love about my "life through the lens" not only do I learn along the way about Mother Nature it's also about enjoying the garden, wildlife and so much more! I do love the other aspects of my work as much but sometimes it's the follow up from taking the photograph.

Have a wonderful weekend - we are off to the beautiful Ilê de Ré for a couple of days with our bikes :D

For further photos of "Life through the Lens" please do visit me at 


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