During the previous week there were the few days of unusually high temperatures for the time of year; a final flourish for late summer?
The heat encouraged lots of bees, especially Honey bees (Apis mellifera) to visit Hylotelephium (once called Sedums) which began to bloom. The sound was amazing and it was so relaxing to work near them; you could almost feel the buzz it was so intense.
Things have been ticking over nicely on the allotment for the past month. Corn and Squash are developing nicely while the supply of Sweetpeas and Beetroot keep coming. Plus the Potatoes have been dug up and Apples are ready to pick too.
Time spent planning next years harvest is in full swing, while changes to the allotment occur. I began to create a space for a wild flower area next to a patch of long grass, where a resident frog is no doubt loving the huge supply of slugs this year. Plus work has begun on transforming the veg patches into raised beds.
Away from the allotment, on Friday 10th September, I noticed a rather large moth in the hallway. It was an Old lady/ black underwing (Mormo maura) moth. The wingspan of the Mormo maura is between 55 and 65mm.
The common name of Old Lady is due to the colouration and pattern on the forewings, which resemble the shawls of old Victorian ladies. There is only one generation per year and adults fly between July and August; as I noticed this one in September it must be near the end of its lifespan. A nocturnal moth it is attracted to light (and sugar if you place feeding stations for moths). Clearly the open window had encouraged it into the building. The main habitat for this moth are gardens and waste ground, particularly in damp locations. In spring, after overwintering, the caterpillars will feed on various trees and shrubs, such as Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
Then last Friday, another moth found its way to the hall. Also a nocturnal moth attracted by light, the Snout moth (Hypena proboscidalis), so called for obvious reasons.
There are two generations per year of the Hypena proboscidalis, adults initially fly between June and August and again later in autumn. The wingspan of the Snout moth is approximately 30 to 38mm. Like the Old lady moth it also frequents gardens and wasteland, along with woodlands; essentially it can be found anywhere nettles (Urtica dioica) are found, which the caterpillars feed on.