Friday, 11 August 2017

Visiting insects this summer

I took a tour around the garden with the macro lens and captured a few lovely insects visiting my wildlife friendly garden.

Hoverfly volucella zonaria, at 20mm in length it's our largest hoverfly. Also known as the Belted Hoverfly, it's more common in southern England (info courtesy of The Wildlife Trusts).

This insect has moved house with me a few times now, the marvellous looking Vapourer moth caterpillar above, male adult moth below. So long as you don't mind them eating your plants you can really enjoy them in your garden.

And here is one of the caterpillars making it's cocoon on the underside of a geranium leaf.

Some lovely visiting bees, I like the pale coloured pollen sac on this bee

I really wasn't sure what bee this was, but it's small and rather lovely. Is it a male Common Carder Bee?

Hoverflies on these yellow flowers by my front door

This spider carries it's eggs around, I'm not keen on spiders in my home but happy to have them in the garden. However I just can't look them up for ID purposes as close up's give me the creeps!

More hoverflies, this one is quite small and on a erigeron flower, I've noticed that this plant really attracts hoverflies.

A lovely bee with its yellow and orange colouring on lavender. I struggled to identify this one but is it a Bilberry Bumblebee?

Not in perfect focus! That's the trouble with the macro lens, the lavender is in focus in the photo below and the bee is a little fuzzy.

It had just started to rain and I caught two tiny raindrops on its head as it turned around (and in focus).

I don't know if you've seen this website but I found a citizen science project called Blooms for Bees which is all about surveying flowers to help improve gardening for bumblebees. It's really worth a visit with lots of information.

I hope you are all well
Until next time

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Jane Austen's Letter at Torquay Museum

On Thursday I was determined to go to Torquay Museum and see Jane Austen's letter to her sister Cassandra, which was written in 1799.

The letter is rarely on display so it was a real treat to be able to see it and I haven't had the opportunity to go to Chawton in Hampshire to the house museum to see other items.

There is a reflection on the glass case in the photo above, but this is from the museum's overhead lighting - just to assure you that I did not use the flash which would of course damage this fragile letter.

I checked with the museum that I was allowed to take a photo and also put it on the blog, so here it is folks.

There have been news items which discuss the possibility of this letter being sold. It is true that the museum have considered this to raise funds, but at the moment the letter is still in their possession and I hope they can keep it that way.

The contents of the letter are delightful and fun. If you're a Jane Austen fan you can see her humour coming through just as it does in her writing.

I'm so glad I went to see it as I may never have that chance again, especially if the letter goes to a private collector in the future. As a Jane Austen fan it was a special treat.

Until next time