A butterfly’s nightmare…..

With the weather continuing to be wet and cold the wildlife in the garden here is struggling.  Butterflies in particular are few and far between and I am amazed that ringlets and meadow browns appear over the meadow at all.  Once the sun manages to force its way out from behind the clouds, a few of these ethereal creatures start to dance over the knapweed or rest in the soaking grass.  This would have been a good year for ringlets had the weather been kinder, as there are more about than last year in spite of the rain.  Apart from these two species, in the last month we have only seen a handful of small tortoiseshells, a single red admiral and no common blues at all.  Whites too are very few and far between. The weather so far this summer could prove disastrous for theses insects as eggs and larvae won’t survive the current conditions.  Bumblebees on the other hand are doing well by comparison.  The weather though is good for some things and there are reports of unexpected orchids appearing in some places – here too we have had a pyramidal orchid for the first time, in long grass in the back garden!

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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