Wordless Wednesday – Wildlife Trusts #30 Days Wild

Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum nectaring on Phacelia tanacetifolia

Early Bumblebee Bombus pratorum nectaring on Phacelia tanacetifolia

Meadow Buttercups - Hatfield Forest, Essex

Meadow Buttercups – Hatfield Forest, Essex

Male Ghost Moth

Male Ghost Moth – Hepialus humuli

Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi - Wicken Fen

Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi – Wicken Fen

Almost wordless! The Wildlife Trusts #30 Days Wild challenge each June encourages folk to make room for nature in our lives and do something wild each day, we did not climb mountains but this first week we ate a picnic lunch in a field of Buttercups at Hatfield Forest, spent a balmy evening at Wicken Fen, amongst wildflowers and Dragonflies, lolled about watching early Bumblebees in our own garden and took dog walks in fields with Ghost Moths for company. Its about taking time to reconnect in the natural world. Twas lovely! And anyone can join in at anytime.

68 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday – Wildlife Trusts #30 Days Wild

    • Thanks Christina, Its such a busy time in May and June for gardeners, sometimes you just have to down tools and see what else is going on!

  1. Sounds like you are doing lots of fun things in spite of the weather that we’ve been having. Love the ghost moth shot. (Funnily enough I’ve just changed my header image to one that looks just like your first photo of bees with phacelia)

    • I have just seen your gorgeous image and you’ve captured the blue pollen baskets too. Phacelia is one of my favourite plants, makes a lovely cut flower too.

    • Thanks Sarah, we did not know what they were until a search on UK Moths, the females are much brighter yellow with orange markings and its the male’s white colouring that give them the common name.

    • The forecast for the weekend has a lot of rain but there are early mornings and evenings in the meantime or maybe dancing in the rain will be on the cards!

    • I had assumed this little Bumble was a female worker, as they are laid first in Spring, the males come later but looking again think you are right and this is an early male as there were no pollen sacs in evidence. I did wonder if they had freshly arrived having already deposited one batch. A small group just seemed to be feeding rather than collecting. I now see the markings on the face are different too from workers. Thanks Phillip!

  2. Lovely post particularly that bee photo!! We used to visit Wicken Fen when we lived in Cambridge – a lovely place. This year seems to be particularly good for buttercups – so many fields around us are yellow with them:)

    • Wicken fen is one of my favourite places, its an hours drive for us, it must of been wonderful to live close by. I can’t remember such a good year for Buttercups and such an uplifting sight too.

      • Here it seems that both the creeping buttercup (which is a pain in the veg plot) and the meadow buttercup are both doing well this year:)

    • Thanks Judy, I have learnt today its a male, and will probably not return to the nest but will spend his time eating and trying to mate. Trying not to be sexist here but hard not to be sometimes….. 😉

    • I feel just the same as you. Although in my own garden currently I am caring and growing for the village Open gardens plant stall – I will be glad when in 3 weeks time its over – as slightly been driven mad by slugs marauding through trays of plants. Then I can have my own space back just to enjoy all the wildlife and nature that comes here.

    • Thanks so much Julian, luckily he was very patient and let me get close and observe for quite a while. I can see why you are so fascinated by Moths too, we would like to rig up a heath robinson Moth Trap, whats the best way to do that?

      • That’s a question Julie! A proper moth trap is expensive, the light is the important bit, and I found Anglian Lepidopterists ( ?) very helpful. You need to think where you will use it – at home where you have access to mains – which gives you a better choice of lamp options, or away from home in which case you either need a generator to run a mains style lamp ( expensive and heavy.) Or a battery powered smaller actinic type bulb. With either bulb you can start with just a white sheet, and old egg cartons piled round it, or fashion a lobster pot principle box or container. I made various designs , my favoured one being an upturned cut down traffic cone, inserted through the lid of a 5 gallon sized plastic tub with lid…like we get lime wash in, and tip of the cone almost touching the internal tub base. The inside of the tub can then be packed with egg carton bits, between outer wall and inner cone, and the light rigged up above the opening of the cone. The moths fly past and a lot will then head for the dark behind the light. and rest up on the egg cartons. Of course you need to protect the light against rain in some way, and all these traps work best if run overnight – many moths will fly in late on.
        Finally depending on where you live, consider that the light may be quite bright and bother neighbours ( if a mains light) the battery powered ones much less so. The battery powered ones won’t catch as many moths though. Our original light which was actually a 125 watt bulb, acquired from the local hydroponics centre….illuminated the house from the other side of the valley, but we could get away with it here!
        Good luck and I’m sure you’ll be fascinated by what you find – we’re really lucky in our part of the world in having a very diverse and numerically strong moth population…it may well be less so in a more pesticide abused agricultural environment. Finally if you do run it, always check the vegetation close to the lamp, since moths will always rest up here – most of my Convulvulus Hawk Moths were found in this way, some distance from the trap. And get up at dawn to check for these, or birds will quickly learn what’s going on and predate any out of the trap moths!
        best wishes
        Julian
        If you’d like any more info, let me know.

      • Hi Julian, thanks very much for your detailed answer, this may seem a bit silly, but once we have managed to attract the moths, once we open the container how long will they stay or are they likely to fly off quickly – should they be put in a jar and is that the done thing, could I cause harm to the moth? Thanks for your patience in advance! Best wishes, Julie

  3. Phacelia is such a Bee magnet as your picture clearly illustrates. I’ve seen whole fields planted with this nitrogen-fixing crop on some shooting estates around our way.

    Lovely stuff as ever Jules.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell and naturestimeline

    • Hi Tony, whole fields sound a wonderful sight, not at all keen on shooting though, I guess they are using the Phacelia as a green manure not as a cover. It’s definitely one of the most popular plants for Bees and lots of Hoverflies too that I have at home. I guess this is still a really busy birding time for you and lots of fledglings about (hopefully)!

      • No worries I didn’t especially mean to be pushing the shooting comment, just stating how conservation minded they also tend to be in most instances. For a factoid, those who manage some 75 to 80% of farmed landscapes also do so with shooting interests (not one of my interests incidentally, yet conservation certainly is) in mind. These can be either big or small-scale shoots. The countryside is so diverse in its interests as well as its’ wildlife and it all needs careful and considerate management. My bird surveying efforts are very much to the forefront at the moment, but I am always on the look-out to seek out new places to visit.

        All the best

        Tony

      • I have read of the conservation side to shooting estates but still feel strongly opposed. I do agree though with your comment on careful and considerate management, thats the key – we have been watching bird ringers on Spring watch, wonderful work, so much information to be learnt from this.

  4. Oh my–those photos are magnificent. What a great idea–to intentionally connect with nature and really, it’s just so easy as you have demonstrated by your lovely walks and picnic.

    • My husband said he had not sat in a field of buttercups with a picnic since he was a child, hopefully it will not be another 50 odd years till the next time!

    • Thanks Eliza, we do a lot of walking, so packed lunches happen a lot but taking time to properly picnic is a real treat, especially in a lovely place. 🙂

  5. Beautiful photos Julie! We have had much less time this year for our usual walks etc and I have withdrawal symptoms! We plan to go to Wicken Fen on 18th June as it is our wedding anniversary and we thought we’d celebrate in style! We’ve never been before and I’m really looking forward to it.

    • You will love Wicken Fen Clare, we haven’t taken one but its possible to have a boat ride along the Fens too. Take water proof or walking boots – the paths can be muddy if there has been a lot of rain. Sounds like the perfect place to celebrate too, happy anniversary in advance.x

    • The fields have been awash with Meadow Buttercups this year, I cant remember a year when there have been so many, they almost give our Bluebells a run for their money!

  6. Loved your husband’s comment on sitting in a field of buttercups as a child. What a great impetus the Wildlife Challenge is just to get out there and relax and enjoy. Superb photos, Julie (as always – they leave me breathless)

  7. Gorgeous Julie! It all sounds so lovely – especially being in that buttercup field. Fantastic photography, especially of that bee! You have real patience and a steady hand!
    – Kate x

    • Hi Marian, you are so kind, thank you so much for asking too, all is well, I found myself absolutely swamped with work and had to take a little break from blogging, things will ease towards the end of the month. Then hopefully back with a spring in my step! xx

    • Hi Christina, thank you so much for asking. We have spent most of this summer searching for a new house and garden and going through the process of selling our home and my garden here, its been stressful and its hard to explain but I lost my written voice within everything that’s gone on. However, its Autumn now and we are still here, waiting for our buyers to complete the chain. I hope you are well and am looking forward now to catching up. Thank you again, it means a lot.

      • I find my blogging relationships are important to me. I’m so pleased all is well. Good luck with the house sale, I know how stressful that can be. I look forward to seeing your new garden.

  8. Good to see your like on my blog….After getting cited by the town for my native plants which looked too much like weeds in the front.. (asters etc) we have to redo our garden into a more suburban type setting but I found a young man who is doing landscaping with native plants that are neonic free so hopefully I will have a bigger and better pollinator garden in the front yard.. Stupid conformity and lawns… sigh.. Michelle

    • Hi Michelle, hopefully your town will be inspired by your new pollinator garden and plant more areas like yours! Good for the landscaper too, we need more who plant neonic free, its hardly ever happens here.

  9. First I thought WP didn’t feed me your posts anymore but now I see it’s been a while since you’ve posted, Julie. Hope you’re well. Lovely summery pics. I wish you all the best for the new year and good light for your photography which is always enjoyable.

    • Hi Annette, I have been absent trying to find a new home and garden, we came over to France to look around Limousin but after the Brexit debacle, so not best timing. We haven’t found anywhere yet and may rent for a while…Meanwhile, we’ve been blessed with some lovely frosty days and good light here. Happy 2017 to you and yours. x

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