A few of the interesting things we've seen in the last few days ....
We opened the green garden waste bin and discovered a big pile of ant pupae on the ledge that the lid rests on. I'm not quite sure what they were doing there, but I think it must mean the lawn hasn't been cut for ages or they would have been disturbed before now!
The larvae spin a silk cocoon when they pupate, which is what you can see in the picture. We left them alone and the ants leapt into action and hauled the pupae away. They were all cleared from the bin within about ten minutes - it was a fascinating military operation to watch!
We were walking the dog this afternoon and found this beetle walking across the path. I thought for a moment it might be a female stag beetle (which would have been really exciting), but now I think it's actually a lesser stag beetle. Still exciting and a first for me, but not quite as glamorous as its famous cousin!
Bug Mad Girl couldn't resist picking it up, then she moved it to a safe place at the side of the path.
There have been lots of reports of flying ants swarming, but I hadn't seen any yet and was beginning to wonder where they all were. We didn't see any swarms but did see 6 flying ants walking up the inside if our patio doors (which were open).
We've had the moth trap out a few times recently, but the weather's been pretty awful with either rain, wind or very cold temperatures overnight - all not very good for mothing! The weather seemed perfect a couple of nights ago, so we left the trap out and excitedly opened it to see what was inside in the morning.
It was obviously yellow underwing night, as we had a trap full of them. There are a few different types of yellow underwing and even the same type comes in different colours - we seemed to have all sorts in there. Some moths are quite happy to sit around on your finger and pose for photos, but that's not the case with yellow underwings. Normally they fly off as soon as you disturb them and if they do sit on your finger they're gone within a few seconds.
We also had a couple of these very small moths that are quite unusual. No idea what they're called but they were quite interesting as they had their tails stuck in the air, big long antennae and pretty markings.
We also caught this lovely shield bug.
Finally, the hogweed is absolutely crawling with all sorts of flies, beetles and bugs at the moment. It's well worth stopping and taking a really good look if you come across any as you'll be amazed how many different things you'll find!