Nature notes for September


The latest instalment of nature notes, from our regular contributor Wendy Tagg.

After months of blazing sun a bit of rain, a few cold nights and the splendid Uckfield Carnival return us to the season of mellow mists and fruitfulness. This is a great time to explore our woodlands and nature reserves as colourful berries and fruits, such as the Chestnuts photographed, enliven the scene.

The wild flowers are thinning out but ivy flowers will keep our pollinators going well into winter. The photo shows an Ivy Bee, which is like a honey bee but with bolder stripes.

In our own gardens we can attract pollinators by planting late-flowering plants such as Sedums, Asters and Verbena bonariensis (shown with a Comma butterfly).

As you explore or garden, pay attention to what is happening at ground level, Many caterpillars, like the Pale Tussock moth larva shown, are leaving their food plants to find places to hibernate. We deliberately leave leaf litter and other ‘mess’ in some parts of the garden to give them somewhere to hide.

If you look carefully at hazels (photographed), birches and alders, you will find next year’s catkins just starting to grow. So as we slide into Autumn, Spring is just round the corner.