Summer fun with superb creatures.
THE hot and humid summer weather has allowed the nation's colourful butterflies and insects to swarm in great numbers.
The last few days have seen our garden alive with bees, moths and butterflies. By far the most common are the gloriously colourful peacocks and our wild growing buddleia bush is alive with these magnificent creatures, and joining them in their quest for nectar were some brightly coloured painted lady's.
It is quite something to see a dozen or more slowly working their way around each bloom head.
Joining them were a few golf-ballsize bumble bees, and with the local hover flies and false wasps, this little part of nature's half-acre became alive.
A rare visitor was a high brown fritillary, the opportunity was too good to miss so out came the phone camera. Slowly approaching the bush camera at the ready, I got into position, waited a few seconds for the perfect shot and blast! Spotted and a flurry of wings sees my subject taking off, a few circuits around the garden and returning to feed once more. I tried again and snap! Got a picture, okay so I'm not Cecil B DE Mille but I got the picture, two peacocks on the one bloom, smashing.
I stepped back and sat down and just took a few minutes to quietly sit and observe nature that has not changed for millions of years, and will continue to do so long after we are but a distant memory.
A flutter of wings caught my eye, a butterfly settled on the warm sunlit stone slabs just in front of me. Smaller than the peacocks and painted lady's and strangely coloured, I had never seen one like it before.
The book said it was a speckled wood butterfly, the first one ever seen in our garden. It fluttered off across into next door's garden and out of sight.
We have yet to see the red admirals and the elusive monarch, they will appear it is only a matter of time.
Her indoors has a herb garden and one of them, oregano, produces a strong smelling white flower which the bumble bees seem to favour.
So along with the buddleia and its colourful butterfly displays, the bumble bee fraternity monopolise the oregano flowers.
All of this activity is but a microcosm of this green and pleasant land. In gardens up and down the kingdom the same scenarios are being played out in the warm, humid summer sun.
The daytime visitors here at Levy towers are not confined to flying birds and insects, night time reveals much more.
My last job before bedtime is light up the garden, a quick look to check that all is well, I flick the switch and two powerful flood lights turn black night into blazing day and within seconds the air is alive with flying insects, including moths of every size and colour all gravitating into the intense light, and almost certain death. I switch it off and on a whim I step out into the semi darkness of the garden, a flutter of wings flashes past. It was a pair of bats chasing their evening meal of moths.
The stately homes of England can boast peacocks strutting about the grounds, well so can we and countless other more modest dwellings in the UK, in my garden we counted a dozen or more. Tony Levy, Wednesfield