With the exception of my shielded 'exercise path', we are not mowing our garden this year. It has been very interesting to watch the weeds and wildflowers that have grown up in areas that would normally be lawn, albeit of a rather dry sandy-soil variety.
The first plants to emerge unexpectedly were Ox-eye daisies (you can see my post here), and the second was the Common Knapweed you can see in the collage above. For several days now I have kept the Knapweed under close surveillance to see what insects it might attract. I think you will agree that with everything from Skipper butterflies to Thick-legged Flower Beetles and Red-tailed Bumblebees, I have had plenty to watch. I have found the ideal way of doing this is by placing an outdoor chair by the plant and waiting, trying to use not only my eyes but also my ears.
In the scheme of things, the tiny ant was just as valuable a find as the showy Skipper, and I know I have benefited from these 'close observation' projects I set myself. The next stage on is not only to recognise the 'usual suspects' but to find out more about each species, and, as ever, I often turn to the kind folk on iSpot for a bit of help.