Of Tansy Lanes, Ladybirds, and Sunsets

Day 68 of 365 Days Wild was filled with Random Acts Of Wildness.


I began the day with a walk along the local lanes, out in the company of my mum before the temperatures rose too high. It reached 30°C (86°F) here, later in the day. It was a positively balmy 23° while we were out!

The lanes around the village are always a pleasure to walk out along, surrounded as they are by agricultural land. They’re quiet even later in the day, as they’re only really walked along only by locals. We didn’t see anyone else at all while we were out. Just lots of Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) growing on the grass verges. This plant is also known as Bitter Buttons, Cow Bitter, and Golden Buttons.


Once I arrived home (and had put together yesterday’s blog post) I decided to spend a few hours drawing the ladybirds that I’d spotted in the meadow on day 67. These are the 7-Spot, the 2-Spot and the 14-Spot.

You might notice that I left out the Harlequin. This is because the Harlequin ladybird is an invasive species, originally from Asia, that arrived in the UK in 2004 and has rapidly spread to become one of the most common species around. They are larger than most natives, and are voracious predators. They out-compete for aphid-prey, and also eat the eggs and larvae of other ladybirds. They’re unfortunately really difficult to identify as their appearances can vary wildly. Any action taken to eradicate the Harlequin would put rarer species of native ladybird at risk of tragic misidentification. A Harlequin ladybird can have anywhere up to 19 black spots on a red or orange backgroun, or two or more red spots on a black background. The most recognisable feature of a Harlequin is the obvious white triangle on its head, which none of the similarly sizes native species have.


I finished day 68 by watching the sunset over the field behind our house. It was a beautiful end to the day.

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