Oh the exquisite British Summer, hot, sunny and humid for a week or two then back to the dreary drizzle of rain. The slugs in my garden are alarmingly huge this year, and they have eaten their way through most of my bee friendly flowers, but the little patch of Golden Rod I’ve left is still living and attracting hoverflies and honey bees like this one. Such handsome glowing golden creatures and vital pollinators.

Honey bee, Apis mellifera, feeding on Golden Rod, garden, Norfolk, July, Summer

My local common has a fantastic array of wildflowers however,  perhaps the dry sandy breckland soil helps to control those slugs. Beautiful blue harebells nodding amongst the grass, tall purple flowered thistles attracting Bumblebees and the yellow suns of Ragwort glowing alongside the path. Highly toxic, Ragwort is normally pulled up, but here some is left for the marvellous Cinnabar moth caterpillars which feast upon the poisonous plant, making themselves unpalatable to predators as a method of defence. These smart caterpillars in their stripy jumpers warn of their distastefulness with their stunning black and yellow colouration.

Cinnabar moth caterpillar, Tyria jacobaeae, feeding on Ragwort, Norfolk, July, Summer

Cinnabar moth caterpillar, Tyria jacobaeae, feeding on Ragwort, Norfolk, July, Summer

Cinnabar moth caterpillar, Tyria jacobaeae, feeding on Ragwort, Norfolk, July, Summer

Cinnabar moth caterpillar, Tyria jacobaeae, feeding on Ragwort, Norfolk, July, Summer, Hoverfly on flower

 

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