Happiness is A Full Water-Butt and A Garden Full of Butterflies and Bees!

Today, I have been getting on really well with all my various writing projects faffing and not getting much of anything done, although I did go into town today and, after living here for 5 years, I have, at long last, joined the local Library, so that’s something!

Of course, my timing, as usual, was well off it being the summer holidays and the library full of young mums with their children busily finding books with which to keep them all occupied for the summer.

Actually, this gladdened my heart to see this, and of course, it brought back so many memories of when I would take my own children to the library and sign them up for the summer reading programmes.  They really enjoyed it (I think!)

I noticed at the library today that there is a ‘creepy spider’ story reading coming up and I immediately thought how much my daughter would love that!  However, since she is almost 21 I don’t think she would agree with the idea of  me signing her up for it.  Those days are well and truly over, big, long sigh…………………….

Anyway, I am digressing as usual.   Summer has returned to the UK, hot, hot, hot again.  What I love about living here, though, is the fact that we know that there will be a break so we can enjoy it when we have it just long enough before we all start complaining that we desperately need rain.

Well, we got our rain for several days and as a result, I can happily report that my water-butt is positively overflowing with rain water!  This means that I can now water my garden without dragging the hose out again (and constantly being reminded of the mounting water bill with it).

As you who read my blog will already know, I like to grow lavender and Buddleia (butterfly bush) to attract the bees and butterflies.  If I could, I would go even further and have nothing but wildflowers growing, like a meadow, so that I could skip through it merrily every day, happy and free (it’s not going to happen, but I can dream can’t I?)

This year, although the poor ladybirds have all but disappeared, now that the Buddleia has come into it’s full, deep lavender bloom, it has been taken over by a wealth of butterflies which I thought were Red Admirals but having looked them up on the internet, I think are in fact Peacock butterflies?*

Whatever they are, they are very pretty and they share the flowers with the numerous bees who are also buzzing around like they own the place.  I am absolutely petrified of wasps but the bees can come as close as they like. They don’t divebomb into your face, try to crawl into your sandwiches and try to attack you angrily with their horrible stinging tails.  (We have this pleasure still to come, let’s hope their numbers have been decimated by the colder-than-normal spring…)

I leave you now with these photographs taken today in my garden when I took a short break from all my hard work procrastinating.  May they bring you some sunshine and colour into your corner of the world, wherever that may be.

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Butterfly resting on the Buddleia (you can just make out the outline of its ‘eyes’ at the lower corner of its wing)

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Two ‘Peacock’ (?) butterflies together, again with their wings closed.  I am no expert but I do know that they like to  ‘bask’ with their wings open when they need warmth from the sun.  Since it is so hot today I’m guessing that this is why they were only opening their wings to fly, having no need to ‘bask’.

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

You can see three butterflies in this photograph giving slightly more detail of their beautiful colouring.

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

At last, in all its glory!  I won’t tell you how long I stood there waiting for just one of them to open their wings long enough for me to get this shot!

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Finally, a photograph of the bees.  

Butterflies have long mouths’ – quote by me, made when I was 5 years old.I wrote this in a book which I made out of wallpaper in which I drew pictures of butterflies.  I misunderstood when the teacher spoke about butterflies having  ‘long tongues’.  

* If anyone could help me identify these butterflies properly, I would be very grateful 🙂

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Childhood Memories, Current Affairs, Garden Snippets, Musings, Nature & Wildlife, Photos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Happiness is A Full Water-Butt and A Garden Full of Butterflies and Bees!

  1. Iamrcc says:

    Thank you for visiting and the like of my “About Me” page.

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  2. Heyjude says:

    Definitely Peacocks Sherri. I love buddleia, and even have a very unusual variety in a pot which has weeping stems and very small balls of blossom, sadly it was out before any bees were 😦
    Nice to have a garden to work / procrastinate in…
    Jude xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks for this Jude! I admit that I just assumed that they were Red Admirals since, as I said, I’m no expert! Your buddleia sounds really unusual, didn’t know you could grow it in a pot! I think my buddleia is very late this year. Last year, just as it was coming into lovely bloom the storms decimated it, so it seems to be brighter and bigger than ever this year! Raining here again today…have a good weekend 🙂 xx

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  3. Sue Kendall says:

    Re: Butterfly identification – even the BBC can’t decide!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/jersey/content/image_galleries/tony_wright_insects_gallery.shtml?3
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10748310
    Look forward to seeing you next week and catching up with all your news in person xxx

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  4. Sherri says:

    Hi Sue, and thanks very much for sharing these interesting links here that’s great! As you say, there does seem to be some confusion doesn’t there? I did read that Peacock butterflies are thin on the ground this year but I think they must all be on my buddleia! Yes, it will be lovely to catch up again, looking forward to it xxx 🙂

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  5. What gorgeous photos! I’m terrified of wasps too. A friend of mine assures me they serve a purpose in the world, but I don’t believe him. Enjoy your procrastinating. There will be time for hard work later. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Tricia, so glad that you enjoyed these photos! Yes, I have to agree with you wholeheartedly about wasps! Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment here, and also for your encouragement…now, I really must get on with some work… 🙂

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  6. Ashi says:

    Don’t know anything about butterflies but the article , particularly the lovely photographs made me feel very good. Thank u . All the best for your research

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    • Sherri says:

      Hello Ashi! Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for your kind words, I am very glad to hear that this post made you feel good! I love to hear that, makes me feel good in turn! I hope you will visit again soon…:-)

      Like

  7. jennypellett says:

    I love lavender too – reminds me of holidays in Provence and is one of the hardy plants that grows in our sandy soil. Butterfly is a peacock, deffo.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh yes, lavender, I can’t have too much of it! It was one of the plants that reminded me so much of an English country garden and which grew so well in California, in abundance actually. As you say, it seems to thrive in sandy soil and also does well in drought conditions. Thanks Jenny and also for the butterfly info!

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  8. Lesley Dawson says:

    Gorgeous photographs, Sherri! It’s all too easy to procrastinate with the unusually glorious weather we’ve been having in the u.k. over the past couple of months …. just think of all that vitamin d we’re getting from the sunshine. 🙂 Your Buddleia bushes look beautiful. I planted a baby one this summer – I’m looking forward to seeing it in flower next year.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, thanks so much Lesley! Now that it is so muggy (seems that way to me at least) I find it even harder to get going (another excuse!). At least when the sun is shining we do have a perfect excuse to go outside, as you so rightly say, we need all that vitamin D from being so sun-starved!
      Be encouraged with your Buddleia; the one I photographed is huge now but it was only about 18 inches high when I planted it a couple of years ago! You will be amazed next year at how tall it will grow and all the lovely flowers. We have 2 Buddleia bushes and even with cutting them right back every autumn they still grow back bigger and better each year 🙂

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