Wednesday, 5 August 2009
After the rain
After yesterdays dreadful weather, 24 hours + of rain, winds and low temperatures, today has been lovely. A little shaky to start with but as the day has gone on the weather has got better....almost summer like !
The wildlife, especially the flying insects and the birds are making the most of it. I counted at least 6 different species of butterfly around the garden and many more species of bee and bee like insects than I am able to identify.
The ants are flying.
Photo: Ants just beginning to emerge.(click on image to enlarge)
They fly once a year when queen ants develop wings and leave on their mating flight. After she has mated the queen will loose her wings and develop a new colony, she will remain fertile for the rest of her life. This is very similar to bees. The accompanying ants will fall to the ground and perish. Many are eaten by birds.( possibly what happened to our new queen bees on their mating flight ! ) Five minutes after taking this photo the swifts and swallows arrived in abundance. Quite reassuring as yesterday the swallows in the feed shed hatched and it really wasn't the weather to find food for the young, hopefully today the parents will be able to make up for it.
I also noticed today that the goldfinches had fledged. The young were sitting in the holly tree shouting very loudly and impatiently to be fed. Hopefully if this fine weather continues the young of both will stand a fighting chance.