Monday and Tuesday were perfect autumn days; perfect gardening days too! Sunny, warm but not too hot it was a pleasure to be in the garden. Wednesday afternoon brought sheet lightening, thunder and lots of rain which continued intermittently overnight and into the early morning. There is a strong breeze too today making the drying leaves rustle on the trees.
I know that autumn is here even if I want to live in denial a little longer; I know because the days are becoming shorter but I know most because the shield bugs are coming into the house to find suitable hibernation sites, I carefully remove them, not daring to squash them because of the pungent, long-lasting odour they emit. I’m sure that during summer they don’t produce the odour so it seems to be a way of protecting themselves while they are hiding. Strangely I have the impression that very few survive the hibernation process as I find lots of darkly coloured ones dead. There are many kinds of shield bug (aptly called smelly ones in Italian), the type that come into the house are, I think, Piezodorus lituratus or gorse shield bug; the name obviously references the bad smell they emit.
The foliage colour of the Lagerstoemia makes up for its lack of flowers.
I often complain that I have very little autumn colour in the garden but today on the slope the Lagerstoemia indica has bright leaves that contrast beautifully with the silvery foliage of Teucrium.
Persimmon has some fruit this year and its leaves are turning quite a nice colour. I am hoping some of the fruit will remain on the tree long enough to give the impression that it is a tree decorated with orange balls for Christmas, as you can see in the photograph one fruit is already half eaten, probably by birds but the ants have now moved in and they will damage the remaining fruit if I don’t do something.
The prostrate rosemary always attracts bees but today it was the blue butterflies that were vying with the flowers for attention.
Sorry, I’m not sure of an accurate ID for the blue butterflies, there are so many different ones and the males and females are also often different to each other. I think these are a male and a female of the same species.
Blues often fly quite late in the year here; do you have blue butterflies in your garden?