Hummingbird Hawks are very small and yet they fly across the land and sea from Africa every spring to reach the UK. They are what's called an Indicator Species for climate change because their range expands and contracts in line with trend changes in climate. They are becoming more common in the UK (I've seen three this summer at different sites) as the climate warms. Butterfly Conservation asks for records of the moths when and where they're seen, so if you have seen one do log the sighting here.
We were surveying for butterflies yesterday. There weren't many around as we're nearing the end of the season for them, but I was keen to reach a particular strand of buddleia because I saw Painted Ladies and a Hummingbird Hawk there a couple of weeks ago (on a rare occasion I didn't have my camera with me of course) and HBHMs in particular are site-faithful having good memories and will return to the same plants.
Guess who was there when we arrived....?
Fabulous. Can't tell you how chuffed I was to see him :o)
Back home there has been a Birth...
I had just transferred their house to the garage for the winter thinking there would be no emergences now, this late in the season, and look what happened... the first of the Small Whites appeared out of her pupa. She sat on my finger for a while and considered me before fluttering on to the buddleia. After a short altercation with a bee (who won), she flew off. Seems late in the day because she's now got to mate, lay eggs, the pillars feed and pupate if they have any hope of surviving the winter, but nature usually knows what it's doing.
Pop was keen as mustard to sniff her, a suggestion I declined, for obvious reasons. She hid her disappointment well by turning her attention to her favourite basketball and leaping on it, growling.
Poppy has a thing about Balls. Big balls, small balls, bouncy balls, squeaky balls, footballs, basketballs, tennis balls, ping pong balls. She loves them all. Her Christmas present last year was a small red rubber ball made from uber endurable rubber (for obvious reasons). She takes it everywhere with her and plays with it constantly. Her fave game is to chuck it up in the air and then run after it like a mad wee thing. I had a visitor here a while back who was startled by an enormous crash from the hall. She looked at me as if I was mad when I said it was just Poppy throwing her ball at the front door :o)
Her favourite outside ball is a basketball that belongs to F which he graciously shares with her. The two of them spend hours together in the garden using it as a football. When he isn't here she puts her paws on it and stares mournfully at whoever's in the garden begging them to please play with me?
She's Quite Hard To Resist, and yesterday it was L who succumbed to the pleading and they had ten minutes kick around together. Playing footie with Pop is Quite Hard because she does so love clinging on to the ball with her paws or teeth and you have to take Great Care not to whomp her in the chops or tummy when aiming for the ball. She is a sturdy little thing, being a JR, and very quick so you can't even whip the ball away and kick it in the opposite direction without finding you've got a Jack Russell still attached to it.
Teddy does not like balls. Not remotely interested. Never has been. Nope. Thank you, I've got better things to do. I'll lie on the grass and watch instead, thanks. Or maybe sniff the hedge where the rats are. No thanks, I don't want to play. Can't see the point of balls (except in the keeping Poppy busy and therefore out of my fur department).
So why, then, after six years, did this suddenly happen yesterday...?
|What's that you've got there, Poppy?|
|It's my ball, Ted.|
|Can I play?|
|Ok (even though you've never shown the remotest interest before and I've asked you HUNDREDS of times...)|
|It's mine now.|
|I don't think so, Ted.|
M has been pondering whether Ted (given his track record of having conference speakers look like him) could be a convincing Stand In for Jeremy Corbyn when he finds the new job of Leader of the Labour party a bit exhausting. He reasons they are both grey, hairy and a little grizzled-looking and share a penchant for wearing hats. What d' you think?
Alternatively, he could stand in for Roy Strong and make Interesting Points about Art History and paintings....
Hope you're all having a lovely weekend? I'm off to watch my husband run a marathon. Poppy is cross because she isn't allowed to run it with him :o)