I can't quite believe it's June already! Here are a few things I've noticed of late:

  • There haven't been that many butterflies about – just a couple on sunny days, whereas I would expect lots. A symptom of the very dry weather for the last two months affecting the caterpillars?
  • I saw a Ruby tailed wasp today for the first time. I'd seen pictures before so I recognised it near instantly, though it was surprisingly small. It was buzzing about the rendered wall of my house, which is expected behaviour as it looks for nests of other wasps to parasitise.
  • Though there have been one or two downpours they still seems to be interspersed with weeks of hot, dry weather so things are getting seriously parched out there. I've even seen some trees that look like they're turning to autumn colours, though that may be unrelated.
  • Lots of Blue tit and Great tit juveniles about, being fed by their parents at the feeders. They look somewhat similar but smaller and yellower all over. I blogged about juvenile Blue tits once before – that's one in the picture above. The Great tit youngsters have the black stripe down the breast same as their parents.
  • Plenty of Damselflies about still.
  • Even the weeds aren't growing, due to the dry conditions. Usually I'd be pulling them out of my gravel drive almost daily, but right now there's nothing unless it rains in which case a day or two later they're springing up.
02. June 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: News

The BBC has an article detailing a new report that attempts to put a price on the head of nature in the UK. A ridiculous undertaking you may think, but it finds that nature is worth "billions" to the UK and that simply living near to a green space is worth £300 per person in health benefits.

This sort of thinking may help our green (and other non-concrete-coloured) spaces to stand up and be counted when developments are being considered. Before this landmark report 'environmental impact' would be somewhat grudgingly considered because it's generally felt to be the right thing to do, but now there's some more weight and specific understanding behind the need for nature and its value to all of us.

I'm frankly useless at wild plants, so perhaps the assembled masses can tell me, what is this white flower seen in a grassy field in Norfolk (in the grounds of Felbrigg Hall to be precise)?

Update: Mike sent in a comment that gives an answer – "This unusual white flower is called Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum Umbellatum – Liliacae). There should be a green stripe on the underside of the petal. It is unusual in the way that it has what look like smaller white petals surrounding the yellow Anthers.