30 Days Wild – Day Seven

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A couple of posts in quick succession here. I’m trying to catch up publishing all these drafts as I’m quite behind with my 30 days challenge blogging!

Sunday 7th June:

Today Marcus and I had a wonderful time at the Park Garden Trail. It was a really beautiful summer day but unfortunately I had work at 5pm so we didn’t have time to go round all 22 gardens. However, we saw some beauties.

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Bombus lucorum sensu lato is actually the name for a complex of almost identical looking bees B. lucorum, B. cryptarum & B. Magnus. These three species are difficult to tell apart without using genetic analysis and are usually collectively decribed as the White Tailed Bumblebee.

Some of the gardens we saw were quite formal with big lawns – not very wildlife friendly and not to my taste. My favourite was a big garden with a soft fruit orchard and vegetable plot to the side of the house and a lawn at the back with big flowery borders. I spotted 6 different species of bumblebee as well as honey bees and solitary bees which made me very happy and I commented to Marcus (half in jest) that I would like to congratulate the owner on his diversity of bees. To my suprise, the man next to us overheard and turned round saying “well, here he is!”. Quite embarassing but fun. I told the guy who owned the garden that I’d seen red tailed, white tailed, buff tailed, early, common carder & tree bees on his flowers and he was very pleased.

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A Red-Tailed Bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius, showing off her pollen basket or corbicula and feeding on a lavender plant.

In Newcastle Circus there were lots of stalls set out. Some were selling locally sourced and made preserves, others had big crusty loaves of bread, honey or locally brewed cider (of which we had a half each with a dash of blackberry vinegar – very nice!). We’ve seen Stripey Beetroot at a few local fairs but their speciality hummous always seems to sell out before we get to buy it! Still they offer plenty of tasters of olive tapenade and naturally flavoured hummous so we had our fill.

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Marcus & I drinking locally brewed cider in the sun at the Park Garden Trail.

There were quite a few plants stalls and I bought a lovely little thyme bush and a local variety of cobnut tree to add to my expanding courtyard garden. We watched a community choir sing, had some candyfloss and then I had to cycle off to work.

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Candyfloss!

Lovely afternoon! It was really interesting to see how other people are (or are not) accomodating wildlife in their private green spaces. I got a few ideas for shrubs to add to my courtyard – ones that the bees particularly seemed to like, and also for vegetable growing techniques. Overall, I feel it’s been quite a ‘wild’ weekend!

All images subject to copywrite. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.

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