|Roe deer, very zoomed in across a maize field and taken by my OH.|
Thursday was a lovely warm sunny day (27c) but I'm amazed how few butterflies are around. I did see a Swallowtail and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth but was most excited to see my first (ordinary old!) Meadow Brown of the year. For those not in Europe these are common over the summer months and not the most colourful as you'll see in the following photo, but it felt like summer had properly arrived. It's cooled down again but at least we've had a few nice sunny days, although the garden is drying out alarmingly quickly and there's a brownish patch over the sand filter bed, which is needing watering already, as it's new grass sown last autumn. The lake overflow is down to a trickle now.
|Not a very good picture but the only one I got - |
a Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), surprisingly in my woodland!
Damselflies always seem quite late emerging around my lake and I didn't see my first one until I think the last day of May, but now there are quite a few Blue-tailed damsels flying around and mating already, and Friday I saw a male Large Red damselfly as well as a male Beautiful Demoiselle flying rapidly around. This makes up for the lack of flutterbies! I've seen a few dragonflies too, but too distant to have a clue as to species.
|Male Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).|
|This wild corner is by the seating area and lots of damselflies |
rest on the vegetation here - not to mention all the other
insects who like the wild flowers, so gives me something to watch!
Whilst on the subject of pond life, there are still tons of tadpoles. This is only the second time in our 10.5 years here that there have been so many, and I'm hoping to see lots of little froglets like I did that last time - but get photos of them this time! Already some of the tadpoles have legs forming.
|Tadpoles taken with SX50 but I need to try again with my DSLR with the polarising filter!|
I've been spending a fair bit of time looking closely at my Pollinator Meadow (aka the Bug Bar), and I've sensibly decided to note all the insect and spider species which I spot over the course of the growing season. Of course I can't ID all the different bees, flies and hoverflies which visit, but I'll do my best. I realise I should also note all the plants growing here, so I've a few wildflowers to try to ID properly - I can tell when something's a cranesbill or maybe a storksbill, but which actual species I never know. So that will keep me busy.... :-) I'll report on that when it all goes quiet at the end of autumn.
Unfortunately the Mullein Moth caterpillars have disappeared, and now I know why at least one of them has gone.....
|Poor catty, but a wasp's gotta eat too! The black shriveled thing on the top |
of the leaf is the remains of a caterpillar moult.
|Paper Wasp, (Polistes sp. ?) eating a Mullein Moth caterpillar.|
A few other buggy finds here and there..... this next one is still in the Pollinator Meadow on the Hedge Woundwort, only I hadn't noticed those eggs when I took the photo!
|What came first, the bug or the egg? |
I'm assuming they are mating in a spot where someone else laid these eggs!
Woundwort Shieldbugs (Eysarcoris venustissimus).
|Also on the Verbascum - a cricket of some sort - Speckled Bush Cricket?|
|Checkered Beetle (Trichodes apiarius) - these beetles lay their eggs |
in the nests of some solitary bees species, and also in bee hives,
so their larvae eat the bee larvae.
|Clockwise from top left: Longhorn Beetle (Corymbia rubra?), unknown tiny spider, |
unknown - a true bug? and unknown cricket.
|Hoverfly - possibly Eristalis sp. and may be E. tenax, the Drone Fly.|
|Same Hoverfly as above, feeding on a blackberry flower.|
I now know why I've been so tired of late - I received a prescription in the post from my Oncologist, and when I looked up what this weekly jab I need to have is, it's for anaemia! I have to have that coupled with a daily iron/Vit C pill. I haven't been checked for my iron levels since before I started chemo, but a bit of googling shows that there are different types of anaemia and most people having chemo develop anaemia at some stage, as the chemicals are screwing up your red and white blood cells, amongst other things. So the jabs are supposed to stimulate my bone marrow to produce more red blood cells and the iron helps this work somehow. I read all this stuff then promptly forget most of it when I'm trying to explain to others. Well, I'm not a doctor!
My perineal wound started healing up nicely but just like before, as soon as I was thinking this might actually be it, it might actually, really, finally, be healing.... it started oozing and niggling again! But this time the pain hasn't got any worse, just at the niggly level, which is irritating but I can cope with it.
I had my first jab last Weds and I haven't been quite as tired, but I'm still very up and down with days that are better and days that are worse. I did have one good day, and even one good day is to be thankful for these days. That was the hot day and I even got my fleece off (in 27c!), because I feel the cold so much.
One of my biggest problems at the moment is trying to deal with constipation, as I'm now taking three drugs which can all cause it - and trying to get the right balance between drugs and laxatives is almost impossible. So it tends to be one or the other! Now I'm just waiting and hoping for more energy. I don't actually see my Oncologist for another two weeks so it's a bit annoying as I've got a lot of questions now, which I ought to write down before I forget!