meditations of a wild woods & allotment gardener: getting buggy


Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. (17 May 2020)

I’m in the dog house – behind on the big guy’s photographs.

These are a few of the recent shots taken on the various plots.  This one is a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on Oregon’s plot, taken mid-week.

Apparently the butterflies go wild for these purple wallflowers.

We’ve taken three cuttings, snipped off the plants and quickly put into moist soil and grit pots, with a small dusting of rooting hormone powder.

So far so good with the purple wallflower cuttings: two of the three still look ok in our little green growing shack.


Tortoiseshell on Purple Wallflower.  (17 May 2020)

Small Tortoiseshell butterflies are pretty beautiful and eye-catching, especially when espied on a vibrant flower such as these nice purple wallflower blossoms.

So is the Peacock butterfly, but you would never know it when it’s wings are closed, and it looks dusty, brown and dull.

Super-dude spied a Peacock butterfly in flight and was able to track it and photograph it resting on a plank of wood on our plot.

I love the way this photograph catches the antennae of the butterfly in shadow silhouette.  With the wings closed you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a humdrum moth.


Peacock Butterfly underwing (mid-May 2020)



Peacock Butterfly (underwing). (May 2020)


Large House Spider.

There were creepy crawlies – the usual woodlice and centipedes – as well as a few spectacular spiders.

We thought this spider might be something more exotic than a common house spider, but that’s what our researches to identify it suggest that it is.


House Spider and web, beside faded white borage blossom. (May 2020)

The pond is also full of life.  Tadpoles are now showing tiny but perfectly formed back legs, sprouted from the back of their slick tadpole bodies.  There are less mosquito larvae – so that’s good.


We spotted two kinds of frog, and have seen the newts – Percival and Penelope – swimming about in the pond.


Penelope, the Palmate Newt. (May 2020)

I’m constantly aesthetically distressed by the visibility of the green pond liner. Last year to redress this issue I lined the outer areas with bricks.  This had a double effect as it helped to camouflage the plastic and also created a safer standing space at the pond’s edge.

Recently I’ve taken to collecting rounded river tumbled rocks from our paths, and have added some of these round stones to the pond’s shallow edge.

After I added the stones, the big guy said they were immediately being enjoyed by the tadpoles, who were nestling in and being explored.  I guess the stones will also radiate heat in the daytime, adding a new little microclimate to our tiny little pond.  Sadly there’s not much I’ve figured out to cover the sides of the pond, which still reveal the plastic liner.  (Shame when it was created the plastic used wasn’t black, and so more easily hidden from view.)


Frog & Snail at the pond’s edge. (May 2020)

Yup.  It’s all going on with the wildlife at the plot.

And I’ve not even touched on the birds!

Can you believe it!??  A magpie tried to land on Malink’s back this afternoon.  He was bent over, peering into the pond (camera in hand, yes…), and in a swoosh a magpie tried to land on him – as if he was as stationary as a piece of bent wood.  Go figure!


Peacock butterfly, wings open (April 2020)





About smallPaws

A tumbleweed from Canada who's been living in London for twenty or so years.
This entry was posted in allotment journal, diary, wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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