Unexpected Beauty

Like me, you’ve probably never noticed a Potato flower before. Usually we just see the tubers, as we’re peeling them and cooking them for dinner, but if you accidentally start growing potato plants (for example if you chucked a bunch of old gone-to-seed potatoes into the compost pile) you’d be surprised! Obviously we weren’t growing them for their actual potatoes, so we just left them to it after the initial amusement of accidentally growing potatoes. But then they started flowering, and they have surprising beautiful and unusual flowers for such a common and ordinary vegetable…

They’re also quite popular with spiders and leafhoppers, so we get to enjoy taking photos of them too :)

Dagger Raised

A couple of days ago, Bruce spotted this caterpillar crawling on the way of the house. It was a bit awkward to see well there so we carefully put a bit of cardboard near it and once it crawled on (helpfully) we moved it a little so we could get a good look at it.

I think this worried it a little as it positioned itself like this, in a kind of ‘big and scary with dagger raised’ position:

Not quite so scary from the side – you can see it has hunched itself up to make its front view bigger and scarier:

Once it had relaxed a little it lowered its ‘hunch’ and looked more like a normal caterpillar (well, apart from its strange dagger/horn!):

And off it went, looking less and less scary by the minute (but rather photogenic!):

After some research, this turns out to be the caterpillar of the Grey Dagger Moth. Sadly not because it has a dagger sticking up out of its back, but because the moth has patterns on its wings that look a little like daggers

Inspired By

Last Honeysuckle?

The Honeysuckle growing up on the trellis outside my living room window is having a go at flowering, despite not managing a single flower for the rest of the summer! It got cut back rather vigorously last year along with the clematis that was trying to pull of my guttering! I thought it was dead. But I noticed a flower outside the window, and now there is one more, not opened yet. I suspect it will be the last one for this year, but maybe next year it will manage a few more than two flowers!

Fresh new Honeysuckle flower:

The Hoverflies are enjoying these late blooms:

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