Sunday 1 July 2012

Sunday safari

Enchanters Nightshade is planted beneath the Hawthorn tree.   She is a food source of the Elephant Hawk moth.   I have seen her feeding on the honeysuckle at dusk. Perhaps one day she will lay her eggs here.
 Rosa 'Wedding Day' has reached the top of the Hawthorn.     Her highly scented, single blooms will make many a bee happy.
 As I small child I had an affinity with the bumble bee.   I believe it was the drone and the sweet nature of the creature that captivated me.     Our bees are in decline and need us to give them a helping hand.      When I moved to the farmhouse I rarely saw a bee.    
 Over the years, adding more pollen and nectar rich plants, I have seen the changes.    The humble bumble does well here.    They nest in the garden,  I always mark them, to remind me where 'the place they call home' is.
 Last year a leaf cutter bee made her nest in a half buried pot, amongst creeping thyme.   How clever was mother bee.    Despite the weeks of heavy rain, her babies survived.   Protected by the pot, they have left their nest and are doing well in the garden.
 Bless the bees :)
 There is much beauty in a garden, even snails have their place here.    Yesterday a solitary bee was I have not seen before.   I did not manage to get an image, as she rushed from flower to flower.    I did some research, she lays her eggs in empty snail shells and seals them with rabbits droppings.    Hmmmm, can't believe I am going to say this but I am now seeing rabbits in a different light :)
And finally, to end on a sweet note....a butterfly, one butterfly.    I beamed from ear to ear yesterday when the Small Skipper arrived in the garden.   She lays her eggs on grasses.......
This has been a difficult year for butterflies.   Hopefully July and August will be warm months and give them a fighting chance.   I do hope so.

Happy Sunday safari


  1. Lovely photos and a beautiful homage to the creatures and flowers of Mother Nature. I love the snail picture, I have always had a soft spot for snails despite the destruction they do!
    It's hard to believe you rarely saw a bee when you moved in, what a testament to all you have done in the garden.
    Enchanters nightshade is possibly the best flower name ever isn't it! It is supposed to have been used by Circe from Greek mythology I think, though I might have remembered that wrong!

    1. Hi Lucinda,

      I never dispose of snails, I just couldn't. I love my Song Thrush, Frogs and Hedgehogs way too much.....they all need to eat :)
      Truly, I rarely saw a bee when we came to the Farmhouse. The garden was quite bare...the previous owner had a passion for conifers, bamboo and palms :( I have left some because it would be too exhausting to remove them, they also add structure to a winter garden. He also used chemical first visit to the shed filled me with horror :( I am trying to find the Estate Agents photo of the garden, so that I can show it sometime ... If you see it I think you will understand.
      The garden you see these days, I have planted, over fifty trees, perennials, shrubs, ground cover, hedgerow.

      Enchanters Nightshade is beautiful. I love to walk the garden when it is dark and see her glowing in the moonlight. I have a drift of this pretty woodland plant. She came to me, I did not plant her:)
      I think you are right Circaea lutetiana.....

  2. Bees, wasps and most other creatures are hanging out at the bird baths here. Seeing your blooms makes me so happy. All creatures here are struggling with the drought. I think I have the same honeysuckle. It now has berries on it. I have always wanted a rose to grow up a tree. It hasn't happened yet. It always seems to get side tracked. ha... Happy Sunday Safari.

    1. Lisa,

      I felt so sad when I read your comment. I pray for the rains to come each night....
      There is nothing worse than seeing flora and fauna struggling with drought.
      I feel guilty showing the plants and garden.....I hope the rain comes soon my friend.

  3. A lovely safari and lovely photos Cheryl. Snails, rabbits and bees all with their lives inextricably entwined, who would have thought it? Just amazing! I never, ever cease to be astonished and awed by Nature. I think this heavily underlines why we tinker at our peril!

    I'm so glad you found a skipper, every butterfly seen this year really does feel like a bonus. I have seen one or two Large Skippers during the last week while on walks.

    By the way, I was happy to sign the bee petition :-)

    1. Yes Jan,

      I agree, as someone said to me ' Nature is in deep trouble. Its message is silent.'
      I am not too sure about the last comment.....when Mother Nature strikes she will not do so quietly.

      I would be happy with a garden full of white butterfly, any butterfly, as you say each one is a bonus.

      Tku for signing the are a gem :)

  4. Hi Cheryl...Very interesting was right into the search to find those things that get passed by !! Especially love the Rose and the Snail and the facts about the mystery bee..hope you can identify it on your next safari : }
    I believe the Wedding Rose is what I have growing up an old apple tree! It is beyond the top and has those little single cluster of flowers!! The grow wild, and I have heard the story that they where brought here from England to use for fencing in farm animals, it seems the thorns being slanted makes it so when they pulled back out of the bushes there hides would get pricked thus there not wanting to enter the thick, and I mean thick bushes!! I have gotten cut many times "ouch"!! I'm going to check into that..I will let you know : }}
    Your photo's are wonderful, and I love your sign!!
    PS Love the grass in your previous post!!
    Oh forgot to tell you I was the host for a plant swap here in my garage..we had it all fixed up with cut flower white plastic table clothes, a running water fountain in an old galvanized pail with rocks and the pump in the bottom of it , and a old watering can that I used as a kid with cut flowers ... Delphinus,poppies, mallow, foxgloves, and fever few !!
    Sun tea, lemonade, and some light refreshments ...what fun!! I'm am pooped and it is extremely hot!! ; }

    1. Hi Grace,

      I wonder if it is the Field Rose that you have growing wild.
      They are seen all over UK growing in the hedgerow etc.

      How lovely Grace, what an absolute fun thing to do. Love all the old memorabilia that you used. I can see it clearly in my minds eye.
      Wish I could have come :-}

  5. Dear Cheryl,
    What a fun safari.Thank you for the inspiration to go outside.
    I am over the moon for your bee and snail and rabbit droppings....
    I am thinking the droppings are glue and food! I love the way Mother Nature works
    in the spirit of cooperation. I love the way the Leaf-cutter bee made her nest in the pot....adaptation...humans and bees working just doesn't get any better!
    We have much to learn from Nature...all creatures have a is when one species is out of foxes to keep the rabbit population in check....Balance and honoring and blessing the bees...
    Your garden is in balance...
    Happy safari..I think I will go hunt for bugs too...and some shade.
    Sherry, who loves the sweet clouds

    1. Dear Sherry, who loves the sweet clouds,


      The bee uses the rabbit droppings to seal each section, to protect the grub from predators :)
      Indeed, my friend, balance, so important. It is rare a garden is totally in balance, but I have really tried to work with all that surrounds me.

      Have fun with the bugs.....don't get too hot !!

      Cheryl, who loves the bees.

  6. A lovely homage to the humble Bee (a creature that we and the world cannot live without) and I've learnt something new about the synergy between bee, snails and rabbits.

    Very sparce bee and butterfly sightings in my garden so far but I have seen Small and Large Skippers plus a good number of Meadow Browns while on my local wanderings in the past few days .... but I fear that the constant damp conditions may continue for a while longer ... not good for any of our insect life.

    1. Hi Frank,
      How are you?

      It seems to be a bad year for our wildlife....I confess to be very concerned about the butterflies. I have also seen Meadow Browns along the lanes but nowhere near as many, as I would normally see, this time of year.
      Rain is expected for most of the week, not good news :(

  7. Your natural history knowledge is extensive Cheryl - I always learn something new from you. Enchanters nightshade - what a name! Just had to google the solitary bee - here is a link to a video of the elusive creature

    1. Hi Laura,

      I wish but thank you. I am like my father, I know little bits and pieces, most of it useless information.
      I watched that video and am convinced that is the bee......but it does not make any sense to me, why was it here. I am not far from the sea but ????????
      I shall have to try and get a photograph if it comes back.
      Tku for your help, I am always grateful :)

  8. What a fantastic close-up of the flower with the snail shell inside! I am always learning something new about bees from you, Cheryl. I've never seen a bee's nest and not even sure what to look for. There has been so much talk in recent years about the decline of honeybees in the U.S., but now we're hearing about the decline of bumblebees as well. That makes me sad, and I'm doing all that I can to provide a safe environment for them here. They're my constant companions in the garden.

    1. Hi Rose,

      Tku. Bumblebee's often nest underground. Sometimes they use vacated mice nests. I have seen them in bird boxes as well.
      In the Spring I follow the Queen Bee around the garden and eventually she will go back to her nest. Then I mark it.
      Our Bumblebees are in decline as well, three species are now extinct in the UK. We can all make a difference Rose, and I am so pleased to read that you are trying to give them a safe environment in your garden. Bless the bees and Rose :)

  9. Cheril, I'm Nadezda! I love your blog, the photo of rose with snail :((, oh, how I understand you!
    Saint Petersburg

    1. Thank you Nadezda....I am glad that you enjoy my blog:)

  10. I always love your garden. Where else would I learn that a bee lays eggs in an old snail shell then seals it with rabbit poop? Amazing. We seem to be seeing more bees around here this summer. I hope that is a good sign.

  11. That's fascinating about the bee, the snail and the rabbit. Sounds like a nursery rhyme, doesn't it ?
    I like how you follow the queen bee in spring to find its nest. I might have to try that next spring. Many a time I've disturbed a bee when emptying out large pots.