Bees, Cotoneaster, gardening, Great Mullein, Mullein Moth larva, purple toadflax, recording of Turtle Dove song, scabious, St Michael and St Felix Church Rumburgh, Suffolk, sunset, The Vapourer Moth larva, Turtle Dove
I have been doing a lot of gardening recently. Not the gentle-dead-heading, touch-of-light-weeding type of gardening but lots of digging – which always involves extracting large flint boulders from clay soil, lots of watering – carrying heavy watering cans round our large garden and lots of grass-cutting – I do most of this with shears. We have a large area of grass which is planted up with spring bulbs. There are a few trees planted there as well and the ground is very uneven. I think that it was originally a spoil heap from when the house was built; it also slopes quite steeply down to the ditch at the front of the house. We leave cutting the grass until the bulb leaves have died back which means it is left until June by which time it is looking quite unkempt. The ground is much too uneven for the tractor mower and because of the trees it is a very difficult area for Richard to do (he is 6′ 3″ tall). I am a foot shorter in height than he is, so I do this part of the garden. I can’t use the strimmer as it is too heavy for me so I cut the 3′ high grass with shears. We bought a scythe but somehow we can’t get it to sharpen. I like using shears as I can see what I am doing and I don’t cut the wrong things down as I might if I could use the strimmer. A strimmer makes such a mess; shears are tidy. Once I have cut the grass to a manageable length I then rake it up into a number of enormous heaps and then transport it to the other end of the garden in a wheelbarrow and put it on the grass heap. I then use the electric mower and cut the grass even shorter.
As a result of this work I am extremely achy and stiff but I have developed some good muscles in my arms and shoulders! I was glad we had a little rain on Sunday so I excused myself from working outside. I read my book, talked with my husband and daughter and generally had a relaxing day.
We had an Evening Prayer service at St Michael and St Felix Church in Rumburgh where Richard is one of the church wardens. We left home at 5.45 pm to make sure the church was tidy and ready for the service. There had been a big wedding there on Saturday so the church is full of beautiful flowers.
The path has been regravelled and the fence panel at the side of the church has been repaired.
The bride’s family live at the farm which surrounds the church and the church is in their back garden. I have never walked all round my church because that would mean walking through someone else’s property. However, it is so nice to have kind people who decorate our church and repair our fence and path because their daughter wanted to get married in the church!
Our evening service was taken by Maurice and we concentrated on the Trinity. It was a pleasant, peaceful and thoughtful service.
I’ll use the rest of the post to show you a few more things I’ve seen on my travels and in the garden recently.
I had noticed that a few of my plants and tree seedlings had been damaged and on Sunday I found a few of the caterpillars that were responsible.
The Vapourer is often found in towns and often defoliates street trees. I’ve never seen it in our garden before – perhaps they found their way here on a plant from the garden centre in town. Vapourers are tussock moths which are all rather hairy. The Vapourer female moth doesn’t have functional wings and will stay close to her cocoon after hatching out. The Vapourer larva, along with other members of the Tussock Moth family, has tufts or tussocks of often colourful hairs (the Vapourer’s are yellow). The hairs on adults and larva are usually barbed which makes them unpleasant and painful to handle.
I am not very good at identifying bees. I never seem to notice or photograph the key feature mentioned in the ID guide. The bee above could be a cuckoo bee.
I try to grow as many plants as possible that are liked by bees and other insects.
Lastly, I have another video to share with you but it isn’t the video that’s important just the soundtrack. I would like you to ignore the video! It’s rubbish! I was taking photos in the garden next to the pond, when the Turtle Dove started singing. I switched the camera to film so I could record the song and vaguely pointed the camera in the direction of the pond. The video is very shaky as I didn’t have a tripod with me. I only managed to record a very short part of the song. It is quite a quiet purring sound and the other birds in the garden were singing very loudly!
Thanks for visiting!