• Kate Wyatt

Sunshine and autumn approaching


We have been out walking and drawing in the countryside and watching the summer season drawing to a close with the advent of fruits and berries. The rose hips, the elderberries and delicious blackberries, also the rowan berries which we watched the local blackbirds eat as a source of valuable nutrition. Holly blue butterflies will be laying their eggs on ivy flower buds, the flowers of which will provide a vital last source of food for nectar-noshing insects such as bees, wasps and a variety of butterflies.

Some birds haven’t migrated yet, but will begin to leave our shores in September/October and will be replaced by waxwings, redwings and fieldfares. Swallows are still seen high on telephone wires chattering and fluttering, and include adults and young birds from this year’s nests. House martins are still present and may still have nestlings. Adult cuckoos left in about July leaving their youngsters to be raised by their ’foster’ parents, they will eventually leave as well. The plaintive call of our garden robins is audible early in the morning and into the evening as the season progresses. The exquisite goldfinches are enjoying the seeds of the spear thistle in our garden and progress later in the year onto teasel heads. Long tailed tits are busy in their family groups and the blue tit clan are now more evident which we believe to be the same birds which hatched and fledged from our nest box. There are the usual juvenile drowsy wasps who have had such an essential role to play ridding us of pests throughout the early part of the year and now don’t know what to do with themselves except alarm people enjoying picnics. We haven’t noticed so many bees lately, orb spiders spin large webs outdoors and there is a tendency for spiders to start to come indoors with cooler evenings looking for a mate. There have been many sightings of beautiful Painted Lady butterflies and the stunning peacock butterfly haunts the buddleia in the studio gardens. Peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies will be looking at hibernating for winter in garden sheds and in our homes. Moths also abound with an Old Lady Moth resembling a piece of antique lace who decided our bedroom was somewhere it would like to have a rest.

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Kate Wyatt is a member of the Association of Illustrators (AOI)

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