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.

First Dragonfly of the Year

A wander around the garden today (making the most of the sunshine) produced a few surprises and some quick photo opportunities.

Common Darter The first of these was the emergence of a common darter (I think) from the pond. I disturbed one of them, but I think that this one needed a little more time to dry its wings so I grabbed a quick shot. This was the first I had seen this year.
The nymph stays in the pond for up to a couple of years, and then crawls out to emerge as the predatory adult. The common darter changes colour to more of a brick red as it suns itself.