Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Life in the garden - 03/05/2008

Despite my loathing of sycamore seedlings in the garden, we have a very small ornamental Acer at the bottom of the garden. In fairness though, this tree does not produce any fruits/seeds so cannot disperse and colonise Britain. I don't like it, but Nichola does. It was planted in the same year as Isabelle was born (1995) and has actually grown much less then she has. It is a pretty crap tree overall, and the only thing going for it is that the leaves are a nice pinky shade when they first come out. After that it is fairly normal looking, though it has hosted Sycamore and Vapourer moth caterpillars on a few occasions.

Acer leaves

A much more appreciated garden tree/bush is our lilac. Or at least it was before we unceremoniously cut it back last year to stop it taking over the garden. I'm pleased to say though that it is growing back with vigor and there are a few flower spikes. This plant has provided more leaves for photographic backgrounds and larval food than anything else in Whetstone.

Lilac flower spike buds

Staying on the tree theme, we have a couple of birch saplings that are back in leaf. One is a bit straggly and may well be uprooted if it doesn't buck its ideas up soon. The other is a nice shape and should end up being sited somewhere permanently. This one has already got feeding damage, and I found one tiny Winter Moth caterpillar lurking in a leaf-spinning.


Larval spinning and feeding damage

Winter Moth caterpillar

Noted a few small & thin hoverflies this morning, including several feeding at spurge. I must say that this plant is showing itself to be a good attractant for feeding insects - we only planted it last spring so I may get some more.

Small/thin hoverfly - absolutely no idea what species!

We get a fair variety of spiders in the garden, though most are small and innocuous at the moment. I'll try and get better shots of my favourites though - the tiny jumping spiders that hunt the fences and walls.

'jumping spider' - or at least crouching menacingly

Much less appreciated are the slimy bastard slugs and snails, although the frogs and Song Thrushes no doubt disagree. Don't see many like this in the garden though - I think it is a Yellow Slug.

Yellow Slug - fetch the salt

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