The joy of our own pond

I’m so glad we made a pond. Bruce’s back didn’t enjoy it but even he agrees that the pond is worth it. We can sit and watch frogs and newts, and all manner of insects who enjoy being near the water, without even leaving our garden. At the weekend I spent some time watching Damselflies sunbathing and mating in various places across the pond.

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First Insects

I saw some of my first insects on my walk at the weekend. It made me rather happy ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hoverfly on a Celandine
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Ladybird (or Ladybug if you prefer)
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Rather tattered Red Admiral butterfly (not the best photo every but it was my first butterfly!)
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The only shot I managed of a very busy Bumblebee who just wouldn’t stay still!

Sweet Bee

I met this bee the other day in the garden, quietly bumbling about in an Evening Primrose flower. It was a cute little thing. It was about to head off to another flower and turned to look at me before it left.

Flight

At the weekend I was having a walk round the village with my daughter and when we reached the village pond there were dragons all around! Lots of Common Darter dragonflies buzzing around, some mating, and also (I think) a Southern Hawker. It was very exciting to be in amongst them and I was lucky enough to get a couple of shots of the Darters in flight! I would have loved to get a shot of the Hawker, but he was much too fast for me!

Here’s one settled on the ground for a better look:

No photos of the Hawker this time sadly, but this is a photo of a Southern Hawker that I managed to capture last year. They’re so pretty!

Droneflies

Droneflies, a kind of hoverfly, are all around at the moment, so of course photos have been taken. They’re not bees, even though they can be mistaken for them, but they do pollinate flowers so are just as useful. They’re also kind of cute in their own way. Here are a few from around the garden.

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Female Dronefly visiting Buddleia
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Male Dronefly sipping nectar from Ragwort flowers
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Female Dronefly taking a rest on a leaf

Damselfly Love

On a recent walk at Cors Caron I spotted these two damselflies in love. I watched (and took photos, of course) while they gradually positioned themselves into a lovely heart shape. I know it’s silly, but it seems kind of romantic ๐Ÿ™‚

Summer Sunday Stroll

Yesterday was warm and quite sunny so we headed out for a short walk around the village. Before leaving I noticed that our Buddleia flowers are just starting to come out:

Buddleia
Buddleia

There were quite a few Birds Foot Trefoils growing in the grassy areas

Birds Foot Trefoil

There are also other similar but taller flowers which I’ve identified as Meadow Vetchling:

Meadow Vetchling
Meadow Vetchling

This Small Skipper seemed to rather like the Meadow Vetchling and sat obligingly for a while so I could get a good shot ๐Ÿ™‚

Small Skipper on Meadow Vetchling
Small Skipper on Meadow Vetchling

Nearby I spotted two more wildflowers that I don’t think I have blogged before – Self-Heal and Hedge Woundwort. Both pretty pinky-purple flowers.

Self-Heal
Self-Heal
Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)
Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)

Heading off down the road I spied my first Bindweed flower. I’ve been seeing the stems twisting round other things, but this is the first flower.

Bindweed
Bindweed

The Dog Roses are still going, though there are less of them now I think. They still look very pretty:

Dog Rose
Dog Rose
Dog Rose
Dog Rose
Dog Rose
Dog Rose

Fruits and nuts are swelling fast now – there were several nice clumps of Hazelnuts, as well as the Hawthorn Haws in the hedgerow. And round by the pond the Apples have got quite fat since the last time I was there.

Hazel nuts
Hawthorn haws
Hawthorn haws
Apples
Apples

The poor old Redcurrant/Gooseberry bush (not a Hawthorn!) is looking a bit sorry for itself as someone decided that the hedge/verge needed to be cut back. Sadly the Redcurrant/Gooseberry bush has ended up hacked to bits. There are still a couple of fruits left but it’s not a pretty sight. We have rebelled against this early cutting and the edge of our grass bank outside is all tall grass where we’ve left the edge to grow. I wish I had some native hedgerow in the garden instead of the horrible Leylandii hedge that I’m stuck with. Anyway, moving on …

Near the pond some new flowers have emerged – Scabious and Mallow:

Scabious
Scabious
Mallow
Mallow

The Mallow is hard to photograph because its so delicate and its difficult to capture that. I’m intrigued by their stigmas and stamens … it brings out the dormant biologist in me ๐Ÿ™‚

We spotted a Meadow Brown Butterfly but it was being exceedingly awkward and refused to let me take a decent photo. I had to make do with this one where you can barely distinguish it from the wood chip!

Meadow Brown Butterfly
Meadow Brown Butterfly

Time is definitely moving fast as it doesn’t seem long since all was bare and we were waiting for leaves to appear. Now it’s already time for Goatsbeard seed heads and the ferns are growing their spores. Must be something to do with getting old – years move faster when you age I think.

Goatsbeard
Goatsbeard
Fern spores
Fern spores

And finally, I was looking at the Honeysuckle on the way back and wondering why it seems so late flowering. This was one of the very few which is even attempting to open. The rest of the buds are either still closed or some seem to have shrivelled and died before even opening. Strange.

Honeysuckle
Honeysuckle

And now I must stop rambling on and go to bed. I’m tired out. Is it only Monday!?!