Although I am convinced that the creatures mating on my fritillaries are lily beetles, you do need to be careful as there are other red beetles around at the moment that look similar.
I've been struggling to grow Snakeshead Fritillaries in my mini meadow for years and this year a small proportion of the one hundred bulbs flowered. But how on earth did the lily beetles find them so fast?
I'm sometimes asked how I spot so many insects, so here's my attempt to explain. Tuning into the insect world involves a complex combination of hearing and seeing.
The heavy rain yesterday brought a juvenile blackbird down onto the patio in search of food.
Last night I followed a twitter thread debating the pros and cons of beekeeping versus supporting the increase in our native pollinators.
Sitting quietly in the garden a few years ago I noticed that the corner post in my vegetable patch was popular with the insects.
In 2014 I created a mini meadow outside my studio and relaxed my long running debate with having a cropped lawn in the rest of the garden. Despite stealthily mowing round the Birds Foot Trefoil ("I couldn't mow the bees!"), overall the main lawn has been kept loosely sheared.
But now I've discovered a middle ground through the charity Plantlife - No Mow May
With more than 97000 weevils in the world it's going to be quite tricky to properly identify this one even with a decent photograph (which this is not!).
A few weeks ago by chance I met the local Swift expert at the church pond. A pair of Swift like birds had arrived but Alison assured me these were Swallows as the Swifts don't arrive until the 8th May.
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
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