Friday, 28 June 2013


Midsummers here already and it is hard not to be a little gloomy and think oh no the nights are going to start getting shorter again. But for now I'm enjoying the fantastic bird song, flowers and insect life. We have a Song Thrush who seems to sing in the tree tops from dawn to dusk and the woods ring with the songs of Robins, Blackbirds, Willow Warblers and Great Tits. Flocks of juvenile Greenfinches and Goldfinches visit the feeders and in the evening a Tawny Owl lurks in the woodland edge watching the bird table for any brave rodents who venture out for dropped seed. The roadside verges are full of wildflowers, Red Campion, Ragged Robin, Stitchwort, Cow Parsley and in the hedgerows Horse Chestnut, Rowan and Hawthorn are all flowering.
The May flies hatched and a shiny clean and waxed car looks like the surface of a pond and the perfect place to lay  eggs, lettting us get up-close and personal with these delicately beautiful insects though its very sad watching them waste their precious cargo. They have only the briefest existence as flying insects, usually only a day, flying only to mate, lay eggs and then die. While woodcutting Barrie found several Longhorn beetles, they fly heavily, whirring off for a short distance before landing again. The larva live under the bark of fallen trees and the adults feed on flowers. The squirrels in the garden have been enjoying the remains of peanut butter jars we have been putting out though I think the one in the photo could do with laying off for awhile.
Longhorn beetle. Rhagium mordax. (?)