As I mentioned in IAVOM I was startled to find a Weta floating spreadeagled on the freezing water in the empty vase I had just filled. I have no idea how he got there. I think I would have seen him if he was there in the vase when I added the water, and they don’t fly, and he wouldn’t have climbed up the vase to fall in, so…he must have fallen from the ceiling, or the beam above the sink. In any case I scooped him out as fast as I could and he seemed unharmed.
It was a brilliant sunny morning after a freezing night, and there were still spots of frost in the shadows. I filled a vase with water in the porch and headed out with some scissors to pick flowers. When I came back there was a small weta floating spreadeagled in the vase. I scooped him out and put him down in the sun, worried about his dip in the freezing water, but he quickly started looking for shelter and shade, first trying the vase, and then the scissors as a hiding place.
I’m assuming she is a queen, since only the queens are supposed to last through the Winter. In any case, when I first encountered her on a cold morning she looked still and dead, hanging from the Lavender ‘Sidonie’ flower by her front legs.
This little jumping spider had her back to me. At the sound of the shutter she quickly turned to examine me with four of her eyes.
Hail, thunder, gale force winds, and the mud that results from weeks of the same made it an interesting weekend for gardening. The rain may have softened the blow for the dogwoods which I mistakenly planted on a steep dry bank – having survived for two years their reward is to be dug up and wrestled into a wheelbarrow for transport to a wetter place.
Bumble Bees were going for pink in November, diving into the big fluffy ‘Fire Circle’ Poppies and the Foxglove ‘Strawberry Merton’ and disappearing, coming out of the foxgloves powdery with pollen.
October started with the Pride of Madiera (Echium candicans) covered with tall blue spikes of flowers where bumble bees and honey bees got happy together. At the same time the Lemonwood (Pittosporum eugenioides) was literally humming with honeybees as well.
As the sun went down last night C was lucky enough to see the oldest starling family leave home. Whether it was because they were distracted by him or just lack of skill or both, 2 of the 3 babies flew into trees and had to pick themselves up before making it to the top of the ridge, closely sheparded by their parents. We waited for a while outside until it was cold and almost dark, but they didn’t come back.
Well, not exactly in the house. There are families in at least 3 of the bird houses on the hut, and 2 on the greenhouse. The hut is 3 m square and our bed in the loft is a slim piece of plywood away from the nests, so it’s a raucous experience waking up these days.
It’s been sunny and Bees and Bumble Bee Queens have been out and hitting their favourite flowers. The plum blossom is full out, but the favourites right now are the Rosemary and the Cistus Bennett’s White.