When the sun shines……

After such an optimistic couple of weeks around the garden, the last week (and several to come it seems) have changed the mood.  Cold weather, wind and torrential rain have made life difficult for a lot of the garden wildlife, especially the young birds that are now coming to feed.  Greenfinches, woodpeckers and tits are using the feeders but it is clear that these fledglings are struggling with the poor conditions and the best I can do is keep everything well topped up.  When the sun manages to break through the thick cloud and mist, we have dragonflies and damselflies around the ponds, common blue butterflies and a wall brown in the meadow and a good range of interesting beetles about.  One of my favourites is the Welsh chafer – much smaller than his more familiar ‘cockchafer’ cousins that batter the windows at night.  These chafers are iridescent green and brown and easy to photograph as they like to sit about on leaves in the sun – when there is any!  This as a great month to wander in the garden with a camera – as long as there isn’t a gale blowing.

About wildlifegardening

Jenny Steel was a Plant Ecologist at Oxford University before becoming a writer. She has more than 20 years experience of writing about and teaching ecology, natural history and wildlife gardening. She is also a photographer, journalist and former plant nursery owner, and a lecturer and tutor in adult education. She has appeared on a variety of radio and television programmes including Gardener’s World with Alan Titchmarsh, and she presented a series of items on the BBC 2 gardening show, How Does Your Garden Grow. She has worked with and written for a variety of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, Atropos, Ernest Charles, the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA), Haiths, Usborne Books, Complete Gardens, Oxfordshire County Council, the charity Growing Native and several of the Wildlife Trusts. She is also the Garden Bird Guru for the wild bird food company JustAddBirds of which she was a co-founder. The Emmy Award winning film company Panache Productions are currently making a film about her wildlife garden in South Shropshire. She has written 10 books on wildlife gardening. Her website can be found at www.wildlife-gardening.co.uk and her bird food company at www.JustAddBirds.co.uk
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