What a difference the sun and warmth makes! Friday 6 May was the date of my first sighting this year of the Orange Tip butterfly, at least 3 weeks later than usual. After that first glimpse, I have seen them everywhere with several along Roman Road – this male on one of the caterpillar food plants -Garlic Mustard or the name I prefer, Jack-by-the-Hedge.
The female lacks the distinctive orange tipped wings of the male and usually appears a few days later than the males. This was also on Roman Road so I’ll be inspecting the Jack-by-the-Hedge flowers for orange eggs.
The Scarlet Tiger caterpillars are growing rather large and will soon be disappearing to pupate. In places they have destroyed some of the clumps of Alkanet – these individuals seem to have transferred to bramble instead – yes the stem on the left of the picture is all that remains of this particular Alkanet plant but worry not there is lots more to eat.
There are also lots of Speckled Wood about, always great to welcome to the patch.
The wild strawberry plants have finally arrived and have been planted in the mock rockery prepared during the recent work party. Not spectacular at the moment but hopefully they will spread across the stones given time. The rainfall yesterday evening helped water them in.
It’s always nice to see others taking care of the bridle path and I got talking to a gentleman yesterday walking his daughter’s dog. He carries out this task complete with litter picker and bag, collecting rubbish discarded by less caring people. I was checking on the wild flowers – lots of Yellow Rattle sprouting through, Patrick’s plants still looking strong and healthy, nice patches of Forget-me-Not and Pink Campion starting to flower – so fingers crossed, we should get a nice showing.
Not too sure what this is – will be interesting to find out!
And the Broom is looking good too.
Holly Blues are also flying around the holly and ivy along the Crematorium wall.