Good morning and welcome to another Six on Saturday! Last week Jim over at Garden Ruminations featured a few pollinators hanging around on Oregano vulgare ‘Aureum’ as the first of his Six on Saturday. As it happened, I had been hanging around the very same plant (in my garden, not his) and attempting to take some photos of the various visitors. I threatened to do a Six based purely on that single plant, and today I am making good on my threat. Before we get going, it would be remiss of me not to point you in the direction of The Propagator, should you be thirsting for more Six on Saturday action.
Before we begin in earnest, it will soon become obvious that I am no entomologist. My naming of the following is vague and quite possibly inaccurate!
I’ve always thought that these little things are honeybees, but I’m happy to be corrected. Anyway, they are pretty much ever-present on the Oregano: there are usually a couple of these young chaps foraging around except during very wet weather.
2. Early Bird Bumblebee
In the mornings, this gingery individual seemed to be enjoying himself. All of the insects featured were happy to spend upwards of 15 minutes on the Oregano, making their way from flower to flower, sometimes much longer. I only saw the bee shown above in the mornings, for reasons best known to himself.
3. Night Owl Bumblebee
In the afternoons this fellow took over as the biggest bee on the block. I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence or a territory thing that meant the two different bumblebees didn’t seem to overlap.
This looks to me to be exactly the same sort of hoverfly that Jim captured last week (and captured better too!). On the photograph it’s fairly obvious it isn’t a bee, but when it’s moving around a bit it does quite a convincing job of fitting in with the surrounding bees. I only saw this hoverfly on a single afternoon. He made the most of his visit, but I haven’t seen him since.
I think this is a Small Purple and Gold Moth, or Mint Moth. It’s really tiny, but a lovely looking thing. I believe they’re very common on herbs, but I should imagine they often go by unnoticed on account of their diminutive size. Whilst there’s a decent picture of the flowers in front of us, the picture above shows the nice purple colouring that the young flower heads have, courtesy of the bracts that sit just behind the flowers themselves. As the flower heads age they lose the purple tinge, fading to white as they get older.
6. Attempted Close-ups
The individual flowers on the Oregano are pretty small. Here are my attempts to capture a few details, to see what all the fuss is about. There’s obviously something very appealing/tasty for it to attract such a wide range of visitors. In previous years we’ve had quite a few butterflies enjoying the buffet, but we’ve had quite a bit of cool, overcast weather of late and I don’t think the butterflies have benifitted from that. There were also quite a few small hovering type things on and around the Oregano, but photographing them proved to be beyond my capabilities!
I hope you enjoyed this rather single-minded Six on Saturday. Have a great weekend and see you next time!