"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

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Garden Moths and Flowers and Latest Reading plus a few Bee items

I started moth trapping at the beginning of March when the Garden Moth Scheme started. I always get off to a fairly slow start and so far have trapped just eight species. Here are some photos of a few of them.

Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla)

Oak Beauty (Biston strataria)

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)

Herbrew Character (Orthosia gothica)

Twin-spotted Quaker (Anorthoa munda)

Emperor Moths are starting to emerge in the wild so I have brought my 3 year old cocoons indoors in the hope that I will finally get a female emerge and I can try "assembling" to see if I can attract any males to the garden. The adult moths can take up to four years to emerge so there is still hope!

We've had three species of butterfly in the garden so far this year - Orange Tip, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood and Tawny Mining Bees are making their miniature volcano shaped nests in the garden.

Bee Flies have been seen round the garden - I find it difficult to get photos but this individual was rescued from a spider's web in the garage and was happy to pose.

Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major)

White and Red Camellias are flowering really well this year in the garden.

Wood Anemones, Primulas and Grape Hyacinths

When I saw some small white flowers nearby my initial thought was the the Wood Anemones were spreading but on closer examination I was thrilled to find a clump of Wood Sorrel which had somehow made its way into the garden.

Recent Reading

I am fascinated by gargoyles that you see on church buildings - this little book belongs to my son and is full of examples of different types of gargoyles to be found not only in the UK but in Europe.

I usually really enjoy Rachel Hore's books but I didn't think this was quite as good as some of her past novels.

The second Ruth Galloway book I have read and I just loved this story - couldn't put it down and I read it in just a few nights. Have now recommended this series of books to my son and he is enjoying the first immensely :)

If you enjoyed The War of the Worlds by H G Wells - you will like reading this sequel by Stephen Baxter. It is written in a similar style to Wells and tells of the Martians returning to Earth. I did think that perhaps the book was a little over long and could have done with some editing. The chapters detailing the invasion in other parts of the world seemed to me to have been added as an after thought after the main story had been written. But if you like science fiction I would recommend it.

Treated myself to this cake magazine in Sainsburys - it has some superb recipes - in fact I am having trouble deciding what to make first as every recipe looks delicious.

Finally, some bee related items I have treated myself to over the last few months.

This vase was a present from my daughter for Mother's Day (sorry for blurred photo - light was low!).


Pam said...

I don't recall seeing Bee Flies before, though I suppose I must have? The wings on the one in your photo are beautiful! :)

Rosie said...

How lovely to have Wood Sorrel as well as Wood Anemones in your garden. They do look very similar but looking closely there is a great difference in both leaves and flowers. I too thought the last Rachel Hore book wasn't her best. One of my favourites was 'The Glass Painter's Daughter'. The Gargoyle book looks fascinating. Glad you are enjoying the Ruth Galloway novels, I've just read the latest one over a weekend. Love all your bee related items especially the yellow jug:)

Coquetnaturelover said...

Such an interesting varied post, thank you! I don't know anything about moths - they are quite beautiful when you look at them closely. I too have found some of those volcanic looking piles of soil in my garden path. How do you go about identifying the bees? I suppose first of all, I will need to spot one but when do I look! Will need patience I think! Perhaps I will read one of your books with one eye on the hole which is so perfectly round!

Chris Rohrer said...

Love your bee items:) I especially like the mug/cup. Very cute. My favorite coffee glass is a pumpkin styled glass. It looks like a good year for moths already. Hope you get lots of them....and find some new ones as well!

amanda peters said...

Really nice to see what you have been catching, it is a slow start here to, so cold on a night there is not much about.Oak Beauty is such a lovely moth.

Love the photo of the Bee-fly, noted I had one in the garden but flew of before I could get a photo..

Quite fancy the Gargoyles book, and your Bee presents are lovely too.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks Pam. Lots of bee flies around at the moment but they do tend to zoom around so if you weren't looking for them they could easily be missed!

Rosie - Thanks Rosie. I was so chuffed to find the Wood Sorrel and it isn't one we have planted so a mystery how it got here! Perhaps the fairies have been busy!! :) The Glass Painter's Daughter was my favourite Rachel Hore too! Have introduced my son to Elly Griffiths and he is really enjoying the first Ruth Galloway. Am reading The White Camellia at the moment that I spotted on your blog - good book but then back to the Galloway books :)

Coquetnaturelover - Thanks so much. Moth trapping is really interesting - even an average garden can attract a couple of hundred species although id is tricky particularly when you first start!! I have a very good book on bees by Falk and Lewington but it is very expensive. As you say sit by volcano holes and watch and you should see one! They are very pretty - will send a link (it it works!) for id help https://www.buglife.org.uk/bugs-and-habitats/tawny-mining-bee

Chris Rohrer - Thanks so much Chris for catching up on my posts :) Your coffee glass sounds rather cool :) Last year was not a good year for moths so hoping for a better year :)

Amanda Peters - Thanks very much Amanda. I love Oak Beauty - one of the few really beautiful moths I trap!!! It has gone so cold that I suspect moth numbers will be low if any at all!!

Bee-flies never seem to normally stop still - I think it is the first time I have managed a photo. I only hope the individual wasn't so still because it had been bitten by the spider! It did disappear eventually so am hoping it was ok :) The gargoyle book was about to disappear into my bookcases but son has asked for it back!!!

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

A lovely variety of moths. I am encouraged to investigate setting up a moth trap in my own garden now as I am always coming across different ones.
I love your bee things, and a new bee themed mug arrived in my cottage this morning to add to my collection.

Toffeeapple said...

I did enjoy your picture of the Bee Fly, I think they are so pretty; your first moth is the same.

Apparently, Wood Sorrel leaves are edible, I have been served them in a salad in Scotland.

So many Bee things you have, I am particularly envious of the yellow jug.

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you so much for leaving a comment.

Trapping moths is a very interesting and addictive hobby! You just never know what might turn up.

Your bee themed mug sounds rather lovely :)

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much :) Very interesting to read about Wood Sorrel leaves being edible. They look so pretty and would look lovely in a salad!

The bee jug is a Gisela Graham design - I bought it from the farm shop - it wasn't very expensive £5ish??? They did do a bigger one which I would also have liked but resisted temptation!! The vase with tulips was from ASDA.