"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 10 March 2014

Garden Moths and Flowers

I've had quite a few moth trapping sessions recently and this year has got off to a much better start than last :)

Garden Moth Scheme Week 1 Friday 28th February

Min Temperature -0.9 degrees centigrade

and no moths!

Monday 3rd March produced a White-shouldered House Moth in the garage

Garden Moth Scheme Week 2 Friday, 7th March

Min Temperature 2.8 degrees centigrade

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 1 (NFY)

Common Quaker

Saturday, 8th March

Min Temperature 7.1 degrees centigrade

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria) x 1 (NFY)

Emmelina monodactyla x 2 (NFY)

Oak Beauty is one of the most beautiful moths

Here's a photo of its rather cute and cuddly face :)

Sunday, 9th March

Minimum Temperature 4.6 degrees centigrade

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) x 1 (NFY)
Dotted Border (dark form) F. fuscata x 1

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 3

Emmelina monodacytla x 1

Dotted Border - another beautiful moth (the females are wingless)

I am pretty sure this is the dark form of Dotted Border but please let me know if I'm wrong

Emmelina monodactyla looking like a little biplane and yes it was ready to take off hence the photo in the pot!

A photo of my 15w Actinic Skinner Trap - looking a bit worn now. Note the perspex has broken in places!

The garden really seemed to come to life yesterday in the warm sunshine. I saw my first garden butterflies of the year - two Small Tortoiseshells plus a few dark coloured flutters unfortunately too far away to identify although I think probably Peacock or Red Admiral. Several Bumble Bees were seen again at distance but there was a Queen Tree Bumble Bee nectaring on the patio. Frogs and Common Newts can now be seen seen moving around in the pond.

A few photos of Spring flowers



Daffodils are starting to flower

I had an afternoon out with a friend last week and we popped to her local nurseries where I bought a few plants

I finally treated myself to a Hellebore although I bought this on the way home from the supermarket. It was only £5 and half the price of similar sized plants at the nurseries.

Bellis Perennis and Thyme bought for the rockery

and I think I'll put this Snakeshead Fritillary in the wildflower "meadow"

There were lots of feathers scattered round on the upper lawn - it looks as though the local Sparrowhawk has been busy.

I treated myself to a new garden Gnome today. I'm reading "The Little Grey Men" by "BB" at the moment - a tale of the last four gnomes in Britain who live in a Warwickshire Brook. I think I might name the new gnome after one of the gnomes in the book - Dodder, Baldmoney, Sneezewort or Cloudberry?


Dartford Warbler said...

I love the Oak Beauty. I`m not good on moth identification but I`m sure that is one which we have here. What patterns and markings!

I hope your new plants ( and their guardian gnome!) settle in well. A lovely spring post.

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Many thanks :) The Oak Beauty is just wonderful :)Must be in my top 10 of favourite moths :)

Wendy said...

The Oak Beauty is very cute! It's great to see that so many moths are about again. I've started to see some butterflies, too, in this warm weather.
I love all the flowers and plants, I planted some Snakeshead Fritillarly bulbs last year but I can see that some creature has been digging around them so I'm not sure whether the flowers will appear at all!

Dean Stables said...

You`re off to a flyer, nice one, Caroline.
Looks like a dark form Dotted Border to me.

SeagullSuzie said...

I look forward to all the moth posts, they are such amazing creatures. My neighbour found some newts and passed them over the fence for my pond, but I don't have any frogs. My lovely dove was killed recently by the peregrine and I came home to a mass of feathers and a corpse...not nice!
It's always lovely to find plants at bargain prices-hellebores are so expensive.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thank you :) Its lovely to see the butterflies and moths starting to appear :)
I've planted Snakeshead Fritillary before and its just disappeared and it looks as though the winter aconites I planted last year aren't going to reappear either :(

Dean Stables - Many thanks Dean. Certainly a better start than last year :) Thanks for confirming dark form of Dotted Border :)

SeagullSuzie - Thank you :) So glad you enjoy seeing all the moths. Perhaps frogs will eventually move in - it took quite a few years for newts to appear in ours and now we have about 18 :)

I am so sorry to hear about your dove :( I know its part of nature but when you know what bird has been taken and its one of your favourites it can be very upsetting :(

Countryside Tales said...

Definitely Cloudberry- I love those books. I also love the Oak Beauty which is surely one of the moth world's most stunning creatures. I've been garden-centre shopping recently too- I think it is probably my favourite type of shopping. That snakeshead F is a gorgeous colour and the Hellebore is lovely too. No frogs or newts in our pond here :-( Although the frogs are present round about so I haven't given up hope :-)
Moth box out here tonight. Finger's crossed x

Em Parkinson said...

Glad to see the moths are back. I've seen a few on the window in the evening but they flutter off too quickly. Lovely to see your spring flowers too.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks :) Great minds think alike - Cloudberry it will be :)The Oak Beauty as you say is just stunning. I couldn't believe it when I trapped my first last year!

You should get frogs hopefully eventually. It took a few years here for the newts and frogs to find the pond. No spawn here yet thought. Good luck with the trapping - mine is on again too :)

Chris Rohrer said...

Gnomes=awesome:) It takes a lot of patience to ID the moths. That was too difficult for me when I first started so I'm glad you have the patience. They are cool insects:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Many thanks Chris :) Glad you like gnomes too :) You are so right about moth id - it can be difficult so many so similar!! and you must have loads more species over there. I mainly try and id macro moths - this year I might try more of the tiny micros but they are even more difficult!!!

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Thanks :) As you say its lovely to see all the Spring flowers and insects starting to appear :)