Monday, 4 June 2018

#30DaysWild Days 3 & 4 – Evening sounds and ants

Weather-wise, Day 3 for 30 Days Wild was much cooler, thank-goodness! We had clouds but we didn’t see much rain. On my mid evening garden wander, I could hear swifts calling but couldn’t see them through the clouds. I decided that would be my contribution – last bird sounds from the evening garden. I, for one love hearing them quieten down as the light goes. I bet I’m not the only one?

The Knapweed/ Perennial Cornflower Centaurea montana 'Carnea' had been catching my eye, fully in flower in my front garden. It was gently blowing in the wind so the plan was it would be pretty background image for the swift calls heard above it. However, as I have found many times throughout gardenwatching, I got a 'bit' of a surprise when I uploaded my images.

The Crawling ants really did catch me by surprise. I had been looking to the skies and not paying attention to the flower in the camera screen. So, as with all surprises like this I went web browsing. One link led to another and (don’t know where now) I read that foraging bees can be chased away from flowers by ants wanting to keep the nectar for themselves! Here's last night's wildlife surprise...


Day 3's video length 35 seconds, turn volume up to hear swifts.
Warning, for the squeamish, many crawling ants.


For the squeamish, still capture of crawling ants, discoverd on Day 3.


Weather-wise, Day 4 for 30 Days Wild was still much cooler, thank-goodness! Although a cloudy morning, I thought I’d take a look out to see if any bees would be feeding on the knapweed flowers. I had something to look out for now! Yay, there was one small bumble bee ...


Morning of Day 4, bee feeding, tucked away deep in the flower clump.


Day 4's bee goes deeper, foraging around flower stem bases.


Day 4’s duller morning capture of this stunning wild flower.
It's name again - Centaurea montana 'Carnea'


Day 4’s surprise was that I was too busy following the bee around (not so smoothly, sorry) with my camera that I didn’t notice the small number of ants below the bee until I uploaded my video clip below. I’ll leave you to decide for yourself, but, I’ve possibly captured the ants biting the leg/s of a bee to chase it away! It went quickly too and it was fascinating to watch the ants look like they were patrolling their flower.


Day 4's video length 20 seconds, noisy background, music added.


If you are in the UK and insects are your thing, you might be interested in National Insect Week later in the month of June. Will I be on the look out for more ant video footage? Perhaps not ;-)


What is National Insect Week?

National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects.

Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects.
National Insect Week



This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in June 2018.



4 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

Ants are my number one enemy at the moment. One decided to run up my trouser leg on Sunday at the allotment. I instantly recognised the pain from its bite. It’s the third time that this has happened to me. They seem to make a habit of running up my leg and they always leave a trail of painful bites. I now have huge red blotches on my inner thigh just where they are rubbed by trousers so it’s skirts at the moment.

Anna said...

Oh what an interesting challenge to be involved in Shirl. I was watching some ants near my feet when I sat down for lunch at the allotment the other day. Small but fascinating creatures. I have a golden hop too clinging to an arch - I love it but it has been a bone of contention over the years as himself passes through the arch to mow the lawn. You have given me something up my sleeve with the information about the commas :)

Lisa Greenbow said...

Ants can be formidable. I don't blame the bee for buzzing away as soon as possible. I loved the vid. Hearing the birds in the background. Great.

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments they are very much appreciated :-)

Sue, oh… your story gave me the shivers! I’ll be honest, I was checking my hands and wrists after putting in plant supports (a bit late in terms of growth) after I took my photos. I believe I got off lightly there. No surprises they are your number one enemy, no surprise at all!

Anna, yes, this was fun last time. I take it as it comes and don’t plan ahead what to write about until I spot something through a window or with my camera on a wander. Yes, I don’t like ants at my feet either. He-he to the hop – good plan!

Lisa, the definitely are. Fascinating to watch from afar or on nature exhibits and programmes on television. I had no idea they could send bees on their way! Thanks, I was particularly thinking of you in Indiana when I had the idea of recording the birdsong in some way. I’d like to do it again at some point :-)