So here in Ireland we should be celebrating Biodiversity week. Usually there would be lots of events on, but of course with lockdown things are postponed or cancelled. But we can still celebrated online. For me it is a week to celebrate our wonderful biodiversity. So I want to start with a celebration of garden biodiversity as it is right outside our door. Just by providing a little bit of wildness in our gardens we can provide homes for some wonderful creatures. (All the photographs below have been taken in my garden).
Our wildlife pond supports frogs, newts and damselflies to name just a few.
We have four nest just on our house alone – two starling nests, a swallow’s nest and one wren’s nest. The young starlings from one of the nests fledged over the weekend. Below are photos of the adults who have been very busy finding food.
Flowers – native and cultivated provide food for pollinators. More on bees on Wednesday world bee day.
Wildflower meadows and wilder areas provide homes for a myriad of insects, and the insects and the seeds of the flowers in turn, feed the birds and small mammals.
A little bit of wildness may also attract some mammals to the garden. We had a hare visit this weekend (photo on left taken by my son).
If you live in Ireland look out for online activities this week.
To say the garden pond is heaving with frogs is a bit of an understatement! I used binoculars to help me count them today from the kitchen window. I counted 38 and I don’t think I got them all as there were probably some hiding in corners that I couldn’t see. Trouble is, as soon as you get close to the pond they head underwater and the zoom on my lens is not working. Thankfully there was one brave one – who was bold enough to pose for a rear-end and front-end view! Frogs are great addition to any garden, providing a valuable pest control service. Who wouldn’t want them in their garden?
This poor little battered peacock butterfly had been hibernating in our wood pile. And it was accidentally brought into the house. Of course the warm house fooled it into thinking it was spring time (though the way the birds are starting to sing at the moment I think it is getting closer!).
Anyway my husband managed to get the butterfly into this bucket of bird peanuts and brought it outside to the colder workshop. It was given a sugar-water solution to drink. We’re hoping it’ll have enough energy now to settle back into a sleep till it is warm enough OUTSIDE to let it free. Of course there will have to be some flowers out there for it to feed on. In previous years I have seen early emerging butterflies and bees feeding on hellebores, fruit blossom and crocuses and wild flowers such as dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) and coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara).