Archive of posts from December 2007

Planting bulbs

Yes, I know, it’s pretty late to be getting my bulbs in but I’ve been busy 😉 I’ve planted a mixture of snowdrops and crocuses around the top of the steps leading up into the garden. They should give us some nice, early colour in spring and be easily visible from the house. I’ve planted lots of daffodils around the greenhouse. I’m also trying to naturalise some Snake’s Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) around the pond... Read on

Caterpillar update 5

All is not well with the large white caterpillars (Pieris brassicae). A large number of the caterpillars did not pupate and seemed lethargic. The reason for this lethargy is now clear. Many of the caterpillars have been parasitised by the Braconid Wasp (Cotesia glomerata L.). The pupae of these wasps are now breaking out of the bodies of the caterpillars – all of which are still alive. There are roughly 20-30 parasites within each host... Read on

Too wet, even for pond skaters

The weather has been awful this weekend and it seems that the torrential rain was even too much for the group of pond skaters (Gerris lacustris) that live in the water butt. Here they are sheltering on a leaf that’s blown into the water butt and is floating on the surface. I must admit, I thought that pond skaters left the water in winter and hibernated well away from it. These individuals are adults (they... Read on

Caterpillar update 4

It’s been a pretty awful weekend in terms of the weather. We’ve had really heavy rain, gale-force winds and even hail. However, it’s been a good weekend for the large white caterpillars (Pieris brassicae). Many of the large caterpillars have left the food plant and are obviously looking for a place to pupate. I spotted this one climbing up the side of the greenhouse. Looking round the greenhouse and the nearby fence I found a... Read on

Let there be, errr, wind?

By the time I’d fitted the solar panel yesterday it was a bit too dark to test it. However, it was reasonably bright this morning so I hooked up an old PC fan to the solar panel and, lo and behold, it created a draught. Once I’d satisfied myself that the panel was generating some power I fitted some large crocodile clips to it and attached it to the car battery. Although I’m not all... Read on

Fitting the solar panel

Having built the heatsink I’ve now turned my attention to fitting the solar panel in the greenhouse. The solar panel is going to to be used to charge an old car battery. In turn the battery will run a fan from an old PC which will blow warm air down a pipe into the heatsink. After a fair bit of work I managed to produce a frame for the solar panel. The frame consists of... Read on