Tag Archives: small white

A Change of Gear

I’m going to relax tonight. No ranting. No description of my dull day. No mention of rejection. This is Julia’s new rule. She decided she had to have a new rule to calm me down.

We were in traffic when a taxi driver, not satisfied with my progress, overtook me, sounded his horn and pulled back in front of me, causing me to brake, as there wasn’t a lot of room. I’m not sure what his problem was, as I was not, as far as I know, holding him up. I think he was just impatient.

I’m resigned to people rushing and driving badly, but I didn’t think the horn was necessary so when we caught up with him at the next hold-up (his hurrying having gained him no time at all), I positioned myself alongside and enquired as to the exact nature of his problem.

I am now in trouble for acting in an unbecoming manner, and have been ordered to calm down.

The header picture is a rugby club reflected in the wing of the car parked next to us at Tebay Services during our trip to the Lakes. The did, to answer the old chant, eat all the pies. This wasn’t their fault – the shop should have had a better stock.To be honest, it was a mixed blessing. We missed out on the excellent pies but we bought lunch elsewhere and didn’t need the normal small bank loan that shopping at Tebay normally requires.

The picture of the Small White is from the garden earlier in the week.

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Small White on Red Valerian

The final picture is a poppy in the garden, still crumples as it has only just emerged from the bud. They always look like this when we leave in the morning. By the time we return home then petals have fallen. They are, in many ways, an unsatisfactory flower.

Poppy in the early morning

Poppy in the early morning

I feel calmer now…

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Do you recall me mentioning Hummingbird Hawk Moths a couple of posts ago?

Well, by coincidence, on my return from shopping this morning, I noticed something large flitting about in the red┬ávalerian of the front garden. I’m pleased about this as we didn’t see any last year.

You don’t see much red valerian in Nottingham, and I’m not sure where this came from. The nearest patch is about 400 yards away, around the corner. After that the nearest is over a mile away, and I don’t know where the next lot is. Ours just started growing one spring, sprouting from cracks between the paving in the garden.

In Northamptonshire it sometimes seems to take over entire villages, but the south seems to suit it better. Despite being here since the 1600s it is really a Mediterranean plant. Ours has shifted colour over the years – it was all a deep wine red originally but about half of it is now a lighter red. I’m told it can be invasive, but it hasn’t been a problem so far. I’ve been expecting to see more of it in the street over the years, but ours doesn’t seem to have much in the way of territorial ambition.

I may have to help it along.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

The pictures are not good, but they give the general idea.

The bees and hoverflies were about too, though not easy to photograph as the flowers were in the way.

Later, having got the food in the fridge I went shopping again, and sat in the car watching the wildlife when two butterflies came by. The Small White dawdled a bit, sampling flowers, but the small blue one hardly paused. I’m tentatively identifying it as a Holly Blue as there’s holly and ivy around in the gardens. The Common Blue┬álikes grassland and there’s not much of that around here.

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Bee on Red Valerian

It’s not going to solve the problems of Global Warming or bring about World Peace, but it was nice to see and cheered me up.

Butterfly Diary

First butterfly this year: Small White on Sunday 20th March – Bulwell Forest Golf Club. I was in the car on my way to TESCO.

First butterfly on the farm: Peacock and Brimstone – both spotted by Julia on Friday 1st April during a farm walk.

I saw a Peacock this morning too.

I’m very bad at recording things but I do know Peacocks are the first butterflies we normally see and that I took a picture of one on a crocus last year, indicating that it was a month earlier than this sighting, though last year was warmer and I’d actually seen a Small Tortoiseshell in Peterborough the day before the Peacock on the farm.

Sorry about the poor photo of the Brimstone – we don’t see them often and I don’t always have my camera with me when we do see them.