Do you remember those childhood Summer days when all you seemed to remember was the Sunny days?, Well for once this Summer here in the U.K. it’s been a little like that.. And I have been soaking it up, as I have enjoyed my flower garden at home and of course the allotment…
When my hubby spotted something unusual crawling across the drive towards the Lawn..
I couldn’t believe the size of him/her.. as I went to get my phone to take a photo, I pulled out my tape measure from my knitting bag so you can see the size of him.
He moved determinedly across the lawn. And we moved him into the rockery away from any bird’s eye view. But half an hour later he was back on the lawn obviously knowing where he wanted to go.
I had an idea he was from the Moth family but hadn’t a clue what he was.. So I googled Largest caterpillar moth and found a picture of him straight away..
He is called the Elephant Hawk Moth, and this is what he looks like when he/she pupates into a Moth.
In all my years I have never seen a moth in this area as this one, his wings span can be up to 70mm apparently they can be found throughout most of England, Wales and Ireland. In Scotland they are mainly found in the south and west.
The elephant name is given due to his trunk like section behind his very small head.. Although when he was sniffing around on our lawn He looked more like a little shrew. I thought he must be ready to pupate but didn’t realise until reading various information that they pupate beneath the soil..
So as he ambled his way around our lawn for the best part on an hour, we decided to help him find a suitable spot. We placed him beneath the Rhododendron and magnolia tree where we often empty lots of rich compost soil. There its soil is soft and also it is more sheltered from hard frosts and snow in the winter..
We also saved a frog from our pond as we sat in the candlelight of our garden from a neighbours cat, the squeal of the frog alerted me first, the cat ran off, as the Frog played dead on the lawn.. Making me laugh as he jumped and landed on my foot.. He soon hopped back into the safety of the pond none the worse for his ordeal.. The cat later returned sniffing where she had left him, and sulked away the disappointed hunter for the night..
I hope they both go on to survive the ravages nature throws there way.. I was particularly pleased to see the Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar.. a species here I had personally never seen before.. Especially in the light that here in Britain around 60% of our Butterflies and Moths are in decline over the last 10 yrs they have taken a dramatic fall. Scientists have done a study that says “ More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether”
But not only are our insects disappearing but also Other once common species like the lesser spotted woodpecker, barbastelle bat and hedgehog are vanishing before our eyes.
Extinction is happening across the world. Did you know that our animals, fish, birds ect are also under great threat? “In the past 500 years, we know of approximately 1,000 species that have gone extinct — but this doesn’t account for thousands of species that disappeared before scientists had a chance to describe them” And the cause? “ The current crisis is almost entirely caused by us — humans. In fact, 99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species and ... Because the rate of change in our biosphere is increasing, and because every species’ extinction potentially leads to the extinction of others bound to that species in a complex ecological web, numbers of extinctions are likely to snowball in the coming decades as ecosystems unravel.”
To find a list of facts on what is under threat and why visit HERE you will be shocked at how many species are dying never to be seen again.
That’s why conservation is so important. I was very happy this year when we had a Bees Nest in our Garden Rockery, and one under our allotment shed this year… We must be doing something right to keep attracting them..
Speaking of the Allotment, I will finish with a few photos of some Sunflowers in the Allotments and the Bees enjoying them.
Have a wonderful Weekend all of you