Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday safari

It was frosty last night, the first frost of the season. It was not a killing frost........
Summer is reluctant to say goodbye.......

and holds on by a thread......


The days are warm.....the last of the summer workers make the most of the extended summer season. Abelia Grandiflora is much loved by all bees......



I spotted this pretty little bee amongst the foliage.....it looks like some sort of mining bee.........
A painted lady warms herself on the gravel drive. She will not survive our cold and humid winter. She is a second generation butterfly........she is perfect.
A dragonfly finds a cosy corner.
The hoverflies have returned......
I have noticed moths are gathering........
they rest by day near the house lights. When the lights go on tonight, there will be plenty of insects nearby for them to feed on.
A family of Pied Wagtails have arrived. Two adults and three juveniles. This little chap patrols the rooftop of the house......catching insects en route.

A friendly Blue Tit takes breakfast......
A robin sings, he is claiming the garden. This is his territory. We are friends. As I dig the borders he joins me, taking mealworms from the soil.

The patio is warm and full of nectar giving plants. It is calling to the butterflies.
A peacock stops to feed on hardy Plumbago.

Peacock butterflies live for almost a year. This one may hibernate in the garden. They like the warmth of garden sheds. I shall leave the door open during the day.

This has felt like a summer safari. Mid October and the days are beautiful. I have worked in the garden for most of the day and it has been an absolute joy to see so many birds butterflies bees etc in the garden.

Happy autumn safari.......


26 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

Beautiful photographs. It's always great to see summer hang on as long as possible.

Liz said...

Lovely photos Cheryl, summer is certainly holding on by its fingertips at the moment.

Over the past week or so there's been quite a marked change in the garden and it really is nearing dormacy now... I'm going to have to get used to the garden being very bare.

Thompson and Morgan have some Hellebores on offer through gardener's world... 3 free doubles and you only pay for postage and packaging... £4 for 3 is good to me!

Randy Emmitt said...

Cheryl,

Wonderful posting! Your dragonfly looks like what we call a meadowhawk here in the US. Our Autumn Meadowhawk is the last dragonfly to emerge here too.

Cheryl said...

Hi NCmountainwoman....yes I could not agree more....not too hot, just warm days. My sort of weather.

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....that sounds like a great offer. I have a feeling you are going to get the Hellebore bug. Be careful, it can become an obsession. I have been really naughty. I went to a nursery and bought some cheapies but was drawn to some 'new to me' varieties. I came away with three...wooops.
I have bought a single bloom 'smokey blue'.
A double white.
and a double pink.
They were way above what I would pay and I felt guilty once I had them in the car. I don't now, I can't wait to see them bloom......

I am constantly looking for new clematis as well....I blame you for that....nicely blame you, of course......

I still have plenty in the garden...many plants are still in bloom....it has been an odd year ......

Cheryl said...

Hi Randy....tku re dragonfly....I knew an expert somewhere would identify it for me......

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
These are perfect days! I seem to come alive in the Autumn.
Seeing your butterflies and birds is thrilling. All of your photos are lovely. Love the Painted Ladies. I also had a frost last night. In some places it was a killing frost. I do have some protected spots so still a few annuals bloom for the bees and butterflies.
We have sun today. It has been 10 days cloudy. I shall be like a butterfly and go bask!
Happy Safari. I thought of you as I hiked the Indian Mounds.
Stay strong, (an Indian farewell.)
Sherry

Liz said...

Ooh, I can't wait to see photos of your new Hellebores!
We always used to have a white one in our garden when I was growing up, mum loved it...

Clematis! I have a few in my eye I want to get, some of the Autumn/Winter ones look like Hellebores actually! ('freckles' and 'balearica' They apparently have a lovely perfume too, so I'm tempted to get one...
Or one of the lovely little 'star' Autumn flowerers too, again wonderful perfume but grow rather large ('flammula')... I'm not sure which to go for, but I do need some Autumn/Winter colour, and they'd do perfectly.

Lovely birds you have Cheryl, this time of year is so great for them. I watched the morning breakfast rush today and couldn't believe how many birds I had coming in. Almost all the species turned up including the Wren, right by the house going through the front border for insects.
We even had a Crow come in today... Normally they never come down, stick to the trees.

ShySongbird said...

That really was almost like a Summer safari Cheryl, it was lovely to walk with you in your sunny garden and see all the beauty you have there still.

It has been quite cold here today but with some sun this afternoon, not as good a day as yours I suspect.

Your beautiful photos are a delight, I particularly loved the birds of course and the butterflies and dragonfly...which you still have this late! You are lucky.

Have a lovely week :)

Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry....the day has been just perfect....I could not believe the amount of bugs in the gardens....

I do hope that you enjoyed your trip to the mounds.....I thought of you to and wondered how your time went....
Stay strong

Cheryl said...

Liz.....now you are tempting me to buy autumn clematis, and I truly am tempted....I have armandii for winter.....

The garden is full of birds at the moment...getting photographs is another matter. I love the wren, such pretty little birds.
We have a Green Woodpecker taking ants at the moment. I would love to get a picture of him but he disappears as soon as I get too close......

Cheryl said...

Hi Jan, the weather has been amazing.....and the best part is that the bugs are back.

I believe that particular dragonfly is late flying....it is always such a pleasure to see them.......

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We had our first heavy frost last night too. The ground is warm enough that it didn't totally destroy everything in the garden. The leaves are still on the trees out back so it is protected there. I am amazed at your wide selection of Safari characters. I have seen only Cabbage White butterflies flitting around our garden. While we were out of the garden today I did see a Red Admiral and some Sulfurs but there were few. Good for you working in the garden. I can't make myself get out there and get busy. I will be sorry later if I don't get out.

Liz said...

G'won, you know you want another clematis!! ;)

A greenwoodie! Send him my way, I could do with one eating up my ants...
I'd love to have a Nuthatch visiting, it's the main thing I miss about having moved. I no longer get them and they're my absolute favourite :(
I don't think I'll ever get them, there isn't enough tree cover nor anicient trees that they love so much. Mainly Cherries and Sycamore around me.

It's very interesting to see Dragonflies around still... There were thousands at RSPB Old Moor last weekend, masses... And they were breeding!

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl.... you could be taking photos of the wildlife and plants here - so many similar and even the pied wagtails which arrived again! I just had to pop over for the briefest visit before heading to bed - being an hour ahead too! What glorious weather we're having - we too had frost this morning - 3rd one this week but the Dahlias are still alive! Just got in from the night walk with our dog through the woodland and delighted to see the young hedgehog out snacking - I think this one has a nest built in the rockery under a pile of geraniums - v. exciting... do hope you've had a good weekend... will be over again soon Mx

ChrisND said...

That was a nice safari late in the year....interesting about the peacock butterflies living so long -- and you get to host some.

Rose said...

The peacock butterfly is beautiful! I've never seen one here. So glad you were able to spend time in your garden today, Cheryl. I feel as if we were living parallel lives today...even though we had a frost last night, the sun was shining and it was just warm enough for me to work outside. I planted some cuttings that Gail gave me from her garden...and a painted lady came to visit, too! Yesterday a hummingbird stopped by; they should have gone south a month ago, and I'm worried whether he is going to make it. I think our colder weather has the wildlife confused.

marmee said...

it is so nice when the sun is shining and yet not to hot to garden. so delighted you had a full day out there. your photos of the butterflies, bees, birds, dragonfly all are so wonderful...so bright and cheery.
i love the second photo of a wet orange flower...stunning.
we finally had some sun today after very many grey skies and cloudy days.
happy autumn days in the garden.

Racn4acure said...

Beautiful - love the peacock. Cool here but no frost yet. Stay well.

Roses and Lilacs said...

That peacock butterfly is just beautiful!!!

Not seeing a lot of insects here. We've had several nights down into the 20's F. Maybe this week will be warmer and we will see a few more.
Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa.....it was a good safari today. I was surprised at just how much there was out there.
It was lovely to have the butterflies and dragons back, I really did not expect that.

I felt good in the garden today....warm is perfect for me....I get a lot done in these temperatures. My theory is that if I can keep the garden under control during the autumn, there will not be so much work in the sprint. That is the theory!!!!!

Cheryl said...

Hi Miranda....I have noticed that our gardens are often 'doing the same thing' It is pretty amazing.

It must be really lovely to walk late in the evening....and to see a hedgehog, what a bonus......

I do hope that you slept well after a busy day......

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose....Oh dear, poor hummingbird, let's hope that he still has time to head south....I do worry when I hear things like this...

One year a swallow was left behind. He spent an afternoon on my little roof.....he was so beautiful and I have often wondered if he made it.

Glad you managed to get the cuttings planted. I am sure they are more precious because Gail gave them to you....

Have a good week Rose.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Marmee.....I am so glad the sun has found you. Grey can be very depressing long term.

The orange bloom is a calendula, they have done so very well this year and are still blooming their little sock off......

Have a fun week.....

Wendy said...

You have been very busy this Sunday! Lots of colourful photos to share with us. And you know so much about the wildlife that comes to your garden. I'm impressed!

I'm glad you are having a nice autumn. I miss those warm fall days. This year we've hardly had any. It's been cold and rainy. But maybe November will be nice. Traditionally, it's cold and sometimes snowy, but some years November can surprise us with warmth and sun.
Happy gardening!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Cheryl,
What beautiful photos. I love the birds and colorful butterflies. You have a splendid garden. Thanks for sharing this wonderful posting with us.