Nature's Place

Droning On …

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8 seems like a lot but I couldn’t leave out any more.

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Tough little creatures these Hoppers, careful handling required.

The new Butterfly Bush, six of them, are coming along nicely. One has been flowering for a week and the scent is divine, the colours dark and rich. That’s to me, who knows what the little people see and smell. Probably the same in their way.

I got the plants early in the year off ebay, grown in Victoria, and put them straight in the ground a couple months ago, with space for them to expand, and they are all doing well. I’ll have to do a post on just the flowers, with their different and wonderful colours and scents they deserve it.

For now though I want to introduce you to the Drone Fly, lover of the flower’s nectar. A female I’m sure, with clearly separated eyes,who dropped by and surprised me one day as I was checking for infestations – I have been getting hoppers congregating and mating on new stems of the two golden flowered bushes and I don’t want them destroyed.

What I do is grasp two or three hoppers at a time, sidelong between thumb and forefinger, carefully as they have some microscopic thorny growth, and throw them away with any wind to ensure they don’t directly return. As I watch them disappear against the sky they take wing and change direction, like tiny helicopters, usually toward the big palm tree nearby. Then, a day or so after, I do it again …

It’s a necessary process to keep the plants healthy as they grow. I can’t use insecticide, that would be silly since I want to photograph bugs, unnecessarily criminal even. Well, it would be if we valued the little people as we should. I enjoy going around the garden anyway, and everything I do there is of value, in a sense.

We should value them because they do enormous work, but we don’t because we don’t see it, and that will cost us … If ever there was a case for the need of faith insects are it. Have faith they are necessary, even vital, and enjoy their presence that is often delightful, when time is taken to observe them at play.

Giving them space, not too much to the destroyers – our nature has been unbalanced by our interference, and anything else they need for their well-being, and they will entertain all day long without robbing the larder.

They love nothing better than to show off their colours, form and flying skills, and other not so unusual but often surprising behaviour …

Faith, all is as it should be … And if something needs changing, change it will – where there is willing, or not.

© Mark Berkery ……. Click a picture for a closer look
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