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Bug hotels, bedsits and boxes, butterflies, rabbits and foxes!

Date posted: Friday 17th August 2018

Bug hotels, bedsits and boxes, butterflies, rabbits and foxes!

On Tuesday Janet, Flora and I enjoyed ourselves at a ‘Blue Peter’ style workshop session outside the cafe, making a variety of insect habitats with recycled and found materials. These will act as examples to encourage children to enter this year’s Autumn Social ‘Make a Bug Hotel’ competition, open to all ages up to 15! We used cones, sticks, stones, bricks, seed heads, corrugated card, dental toothpick tops, straw etc to stuff plastic water bottles, boxes and other containers that will be hung or displayed around the café in the next few weeks. A ‘des res’ bug hotel was placed in our new flowerbed against the fig planter, in a southerly facing direction and now waiting for new residents. All welcome apart from rats!

As I went to my plot to collect my secateurs for the workshop I disturbed a large rabbit, that bounced off at my angry shouts, scut bobbing among the brassicas! Very worrying as this sighting is now quite frequent. And since we lost our two site residential foxes that used to patrol during the day, the sudden arrival of rabbits is an alarming development. But there’s evidence of at least one fox around the site, in the droppings left, at present containing blackberry seeds and often purple in colour, so let’s hope the fox will act as a deterrent to the pesky rabbits… where’s Mr McGregor when you need him…!

Did the Big Butterfly count a week or so ago, during the intensely long, hot dry spell of drought we’ve experienced from the beginning of June. For 15 minutes I monitored a flowerbed on my front plot that has masses of marjoram, but all I was able to log was 2 large whites and 7 meadow browns. I completed the form and posted it online, but in the comments box I couldn’t help mentioning that over the past few months several key species have made appearances on my plot including a marbled white, a painted lady, commas, common and holly blues, peacocks, red admirals, brimstones, tortoiseshells, skippers, gatekeepers as well as the ubiquitous whites!