Well, we’ve reached that juncture again. The Autumn Equinox fell on Sunday (22 September) at precisely 8:44 pm GMT, which was 9:44 by our clocks which are still set to summertime. And it was a fantastic end to a fantastic summer. Now, sadly, the nights are once again longer than the days and things are going to get a lot cooler than we’ve been used to. But there’s still lots to see. Birds and insects are feasting on the blackberries and elderberries which are in abundance this year.
There are still butterflies about, although the vast majority of them are Small Tortoiseshells and Speckled Woods. In fact, I haven’t seen any other species in the last week.
Small Tortoiseshells hibernate for the winter, and on rare occasions will fly on sunny and unseasonably warm winter days. I do emphasise ‘rare occasions’ though.
It’s extremely interesting to find ant colonies still reproducing. Only yesterday I witnessed the extraordinary sight of worker Black Garden Ants swarming over a spider’s web to rescue a newly emerged winged queen ant, which had been nabbed by a House Spider. They harrassed the spider until it released her, and then ran over the web with very little difficulty and began cutting the queen ant free. The spider could only stand to the side and watch helplessly.
And that’s only some of the amazing things I’ve seen lately. More to come shortly…