Monday, 1 February 2010

Macro Monday

I have a correction to make which was kindly pointed out by Carol, from Flower Hill Farm… My little Chrysalis friend is in fact a Butterfly, I had assumed it would be a Moth because I didn't think Butterfly Caterpillars would still be around at this time of year… Carol informed me that it cannot be a Moth as they weave a cocoon! I also wrongly assumed I knew the Caterpillars of all my regular Butterflies… So it would seem our friend is going to become… *Drumroll*

A Speckled Wood!

Yaaaay, considering the number I had in the garden over the summer; this isn't a surprise at all :)
I understand it will turn dark before emerging, so I'll be checking on it over the coming months as they are not on the wing until April, but suspect I will miss it actually emerging.

So during my research into Speckled Woods I also discovered that apparently the larva feed on a range of grasses, prefer wooded areas and usually are found in tree tops feeding on nectar, rarely to be seen in gardens…………………

Mmmmmm, well, I had looooads of them, regularly seeing 2/3 fighting around the garden (which they are known for doing), they loved the Sea Holly and hung around for a good few weeks as the Sea Hollies flowered... Maybe I need to get more for this year. There is woodland nearby but not close enough - probably a 2 minute walk.
Previously I have to admit I've only ever seen SW's in woodland, usually quite shy and rarely ever managed to get close to them. But for some reason they're relatively placid here and allowed me to get just a few inches away…

You may remember these shots from this summer:





If you too would like to participate in Macro Monday, please check Lisa's Chaos.

22 comments:

VW said...

I love the tan and periwinkle combo in the pictures. How nice to have your award-winner correctly identified! Aren't blogger friends great?

Carol said...

Gorgeous photos of your Speckled Wood! Hopefully we will get to see your new one emerge!!

Esther Montgomery said...

I keep wondering whether to plant sea holly. You've moved me one step closer to doing so.

Esther

Kiki said...

What a beauty!! Super gorgeous macros! Inspiring!
Kiki~

Kate said...

Such a pretty color combination. I guess I always assumed brownish butterflies were moths... Would be fun to get to know these dainty fliers a bit better.

Kyna said...

Beautiful pics, and that butterfly is so pretty against the purple!

Colleen said...

It seems that spring has sprung at least in the Macro Monday world. Lovely photos!

awarewriter said...

Beautiful photos, especially the first.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Liz - Speckled Woods are beautiful and we usually get a good number here - the love the Brambles as well... oh for warm days with butterfies in the garden - must admit it's been amazing to see the numbers of butterflies increase here over the years as I've added more and different plants into the garden - infact I got a Sea Holly off someone at the plant swap we have here in the autumn so hopefully that will do well here this year! Have a good week - Miranda

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz.....Speckled Wood how lovely. They dance along the hedgerows in my garden, such a pretty sight. I hope we see it emerge, that would be truly fascinating.

Your photographs are beautiful and do show them in their true glory.

Liz said...

Hi VW,

Thanks :) The colours do look very nice together!

debsgarden said...

I like the color combination of soft brown Speckled Wood and lavender periwinkle! Lovely!

Liz said...

Hi Carol,

Thank you so much Carol, I’m glad you liked them! I hope to get more of them this year :)

I do hope it emerges at the weekend, knowing my luck I’ll be stuck at work though… Finger’s crossed!

Liz said...

Hi Esther,

I would definitely plant some sea holly, you can easily get it bare root for relatively cheap from places such as M&S or B&Q if you don’t fancy a trip to a garden centre.

They attracted so much wildlife, a good range of butterflies as well as many types of Bee and Hoverfly.

I thought I had too many, when I managed to accidentally buy two boxes of them each with three bare root plants in them… Glad I did now!

Liz said...

Hi Kiki,

Thanks! Glad you liked the photos :)

Liz said...

Hi Kate,

Sometimes Moths/Butterflies can trick you, as there are also some very pretty coloured Moths out there such as the Elephant Hawk Moth. Usually the best way to know is how they hold their wings, but I’m sure there will be exceptions even to that.

The UK has quite a few ‘boring’ moths which are brown or variations of black/brown/orange, it’s probably why we get so excited if we see Painted Ladies or Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells…

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Glad you liked them, it is quite a lovely combination – something I hadn’t even considered at the time! I do love the electric blue of this Sea Holly, the stems on this one are also blue…

Liz said...

Hi Colleen,

Thanks, much appreciated :)

Liz said...

Hi awarewriter,

Thanks for visiting, I’m thrilled you liked the photos too!

Liz said...

Hi Miranda,

I hadn’t seen any of these on the Brambles, but no doubt that’s because they were at the back of the garden… Anyway, something must’ve had fun pollinating them for me because I did have plenty of blackberries last year!

Nom nom.

Good luck with your Sea Holly… Btw here’s a tip, Chealsea chop it, and you’ll get more stems coming up. I know it sounds scary, and I’m not sure I’ll have the heart to do it myself, but last year a slug/snail got to one of mine and totalled it. Annoyed does not quite describe how I felt… But low and behold in its place came three more stems!

I hope you too have a good week, preferably without any snow!

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

It would be amazing if I were able to see it emerging… I do hope February and March pass quickly… No doubt it’ll choose to emerge when I’m in Norfolk or Wales! Ha ha, must be more optimistic…

Clever little caterpillar chose quite a suitable home, on some Jasmine near the house where it keeps relatively frost-free because of the boiler… It’s also very easy for me to pop out and check on it – or even spot its lime green from the kitchen window.

Liz said...

Hi Debs,

Thank you muchly, I’m thrilled you like it!

Oh – to have summer back again! Those few weeks were amazing with so many Butterflies around (even if there were more Whites than I would’ve liked!), I don’t think I’ve seen quite so many for a good few years – since I was a young girl and we used to have Buddleja’s full of Peacocks, Tortoiseshells and Painted Ladies. There were so many, you could easily catch them – I never hurt them or anything!