It was a gorgeous blue and gold afternoon here.
This is one of the Norway Maples that grow near my house, doing its magnificent autumn thing, whilst showering a bazillion seeds onto my garden which will attempt garden domination next spring. I was outside spotting bees, in an attempt to log my final sightings for the year. I did find a Carder bee basking on the back wall, together with one odd hoverfly. A couple of dopey wasps were munching on the apples on my Golden Delicious tree. Little activity, but still some late hymenopterans. I am hoping to spot the Ivy bee, Colletes hederae, the last of the solitary bees to emerge and likely to be found on ivy flowers into mid November, but I have so far failed.
In the course of my bee hunting I noticed how pretty the Michaelmas daisy flowers still are. I added to my collection on Monday after a visit with VP to the Botanic Nursery where they hold a good collection of the plants. On Monday morning they were covered in frost, but still holding their heads high. It is good to have something that performs well at this stage of the season.
One of several interesting natural history stories that has caught my attention this week has been the UK government’s launch of a Natural Environment White Paper discussion document to ask for your views on nature. You can read about it here and take part on line on the DEFRA website here.
The survey takes the form of 4 short questions, which could result in 4 short or 4 very long answers, depending on your enthusiasm and point of view. It may be lip service, but it is an attempt at engaging in a dialogue about the environment. If you are interested, please note that the closing date for replies is Saturday 30th October. I have given them my two penny worth.