Monday, 25 April 2016

Bees and Butterflies on a Wild Day

The sun has been out today, but only for about 5 minutes in all. The rest of the time a heavily pregnant sky has been an evil grey, waiting to be induced before giving messy birth all over the adventurous runner or walker.

A constantly blowing freezing northerly has added to the misery of the day. At one point, my hands were purple with cold.

However, despite the bad conditions, spring wildlife was out there having a go. As I ran the Grange Road field route for 10km, the field of oilseed rape is just coming into bloom, luckily not the extent that its oily smell makes it hard to breathe, but just enough to give a touch of bright colour.

Examining the edge of the path along this field reveals a dry 20cm bank of mud, which judging by the number of holes in it, is operating as a tenement block for mining bees and other burrowing insects. Indeed male tawny mining bees were the only species feeding of the richly scented ceonothus hanging out over back garden fences along the route.

I wasn't expecting to see any butterflies out, but a small tortoiseshell was feeding off white nettle flowers, trembling slightly as it did so. For a hibernating butterfly, this one was in pretty good nick compared to some of the rather scruffy peacocks I've seen about.

Certainly in better nick than me after the rain started. Sheesh, it has been awful out there.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 25.04.16

Forget me not grave

Ramson now out in the cemetery

Oilseed rape begins to bloom

Tawny mining bee

Love the antennae

A suitable home?

Gorgeous gorse

More gorse

Small tortoiseshell

More of this pink mystery which is everywhere this year

Meet Falco, next door's Polish golden labrador puppy


  1. Love the photo of the Forget-me-nots, Si. Very cold here, too. Crazy for the end of April!

  2. Think it's cold every were this week, still nice out in the sun. I love the shot of the Forget-me-nots too.And great to see the Tawny mining bees are busy.
    Amanda xx

  3. Great pics despite the weather conditions and good to see the bees and butterfly!

  4. Great photos - its still cold (and rain at times) here too. Butterflies still notable by their absence here :(

  5. Thank you so much for your kind comments. Today, I've been walking for around 90 minutes, and went from warmish sun, to drizzle, to hail, then snow. Bad weather has set in now.

  6. Beautiful! The gorse photos are gorgeous indeed.

  7. lovely photos, specially the gorse and the ramsons