The sun still shines occasionally

OK, it is probably my fault that the weather has been rubbish for the last two weeks – after all I have been on holiday.  Today, though, I was determined to go out with my camera.  So, I did, I went off to photograph some flowers.  Fortunately, wherever there are flowers there is usually some wildlife to be found.

As we head towards the end of September we begin to find contrasts.  The leaves are turning, and, in this wind and rain, dropping from some trees, but there are still butterflies to be found here and there (although my garden has hardly been full of them this Summer – only one Painted Lady and one Red Admiral, with some whites, peacocks and tortoiseshells dropping in).  I found quite a few at Ryton gardens  today like this Small Tortoishell enjoying the sedum.

The queen bumblebees are out foraging for food before they hibernate for the Winter – the queens are the only ones that are left for Winter, the rest die off, and the queen waits for Spring before laying eggs.  Please leave places for them to hibernate, a messy, undisturbed corner in the garden – after all, who will see it during the Winter?

At Brandon Marsh I also saw some dragonflies zipping about, chasing insects, and each other – very aggressive, but oh, so beautiful to watch.  But I am also seeing quite a lot of fungi about, something I usually associate with full-on autumn (probably incorrectly), like the pretty, but toxic, Fly Agaric that I found.

Beautiful September

Today was the first day of September, and, what a beautiful day it was too.  I love this time of year.  A clear night meant a chilly morning, but that just meant that everything was covered in dew, and therefore there were photo opportunities abounding for anyone with a camera to hand such as this poor little ladybird precariously balanced.  I also found quite a few mushrooms looking a little soggy and cold amongst the grass.  The birds are still about, house martins were chirping and wheeling about the sky fattening up for their long, arduous flight south, whilst the young finches of all varieties were squabbling in the garden (I have just put a smaller bird feeder out, so there is less room to perch!).

However, once lunchtime came the sun was out, the sky was blue and the crickets were buzzing – the fields sounded like they were electrified.  This is a photo of a grasshopper that I saw, but there were definitely crickets about – I saw them and heard them, but didn’t manage to get a good photo.  Also about this afternoon were butterflies, hoverflies, damselflies, other flies….  I spent five minutes watching a dragonfly (I know not what type) hunting insects in the sunlight – fantastic.

Although the berries are now colouring on the shrubs and trees, and many of the bright, Summer flowers have gone to seed, there are still some out there to brighten up the roadsides.