wildlife in the autumn garden

A search for non plant lifeforms in the garden today came up with

aphids clustering thickly on the seeding garlic chives, ignoring nearby plants

a blackbird considerately posing against the light sky

a coocon carefully attached to a lavender plant

a ladybird found on some bought broccoli, moved to the garden (hope it's pregnant)

and another cocoon with its occupant starting to emerge!


  1. Hi Catmint! Parallel universe in your garden is heavily populated!

  2. fine eye there Catmint! everything's looking lovely:)

  3. Oh thankyou so much Catmint for the visit. I love all things to do with wildlife ( as you now know!) That ladybird looks like a harlequin one to me. I take part in a survey in the UK trying to identify those types in my area as they are a new introduction and we're not too sure how they will affect our common 7 spotted ones. Glad you found the post explaining what the lade was - I get so many emails about that! :) Rosie

  4. You have such a great eye for what is going on in the garden. Most people would just overlook what you saw. Happy Autumn!

  5. Wow- nice shots. Any idea what kind of cocoons those are? Interesting looking...

  6. Hello Catmint, just discovered your wonderful inspiring blog. I wonder if I could borrow your ladybug, as I am just down the road in Gippsland and my lovely ladybugs seem to have deserted me this year!

  7. Hi Catmint
    Obviously the cocoons are of "Case Moths", but you probably knew that. Wikipedia uses the English term Bagworm Moths .
    As far as I know they develop into those crazy moths known as Psychidae.
    There are some micro-moths which also make "cases", but often these are clothes moths, (much smaller than yours, and indoors).
    The Psychids are famous for flying around like crazed things, hardly ever stopping flapping (to rest).
    When they do, they often have a hairy "lump" on the back of the head, which is quite obvious. Not sure what tis function is. Hairs are often protective in moths, as they arte on many Caterpillars. These guys are non-hairy in the Caterpillar stage, however, because they use the case for protection.
    Donald Hobern (from Canberra) has an excellent Moths Photo Gallery , organised by families. Easy to navigate by clicking on thumbnails.

  8. Nice pictures! The picture of the blackbird surrounded by foliage reminded me that most trees in Australia, even the cooler regions, don't lose all their leaves in the fall. In the northeast United States, by mid-autumn (end of October for us) almost all of the trees except the conifers would have either lost their leaves or have them changing colors and starting to drop off.

  9. Wow, I learned a lot about ladybirds and moths here! And I enjoyed the visit. So interesting to see what's going on in your garden, in your half of the world.

  10. So aphids are an issue Down Under too. The little beasties! Your ladybird is such a lovely thing with many more spots than ones I see around here.

    I hope you're enjoying your fall garden. It sure looks like the critters are!

  11. I enjoyed my autumn walk through your garden, catmint, and seeing your wildlife. Ladybugs have always been special to me. How interesting it will be if she has babies!

  12. FABULOUS! I love seeing what is going on in your garden.


    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  13. thank you dear cyberfriends for your comments:

    Tatyana, the idea of parallel universes is very appealing in thinking about gardens.

    Thanks for the encouragement Cheryl

    Rosie, must be great to participate in a ladybird survey - also alarming and sad because they are much rarer than they used to be. Here, anyway.

    Noelle, being passionate about the garden no doubt helps observation. And the blog of course.

    JGH, thanks for the question. I asked Denis Wilson who is incredibly knowledgable, so see his comment below. And his blog The Nature of Robertson is definitely worth a read!

    GG, if my ladybird has babies I'll send you some and you can send me some of your little cute hairy ones!

    Denis, thank you so much for the info, as usual I am so impressed by your knowledge. it is wonderful that there is so much to learn, I am on a steep learning curve but loving the journey.

    RPSS, maybe that's why the English settlers wanted to plant the trees they were used to, so different from the more subtle greys of the evergreen bush. We do know it's autumn, I make sure I have a couple of deciduous trees in the garden, a dogwood and two smoke bushes. And there are deciduous trees in the street and people collect the leaves. Thanks for this thoughtful comment.

    Pomona, thanks for being my cyberfriend half a world away.

    Grace, I am just learning how many varieties of ladybirds there are. Yes we have aphids here too, and I am trying to welcome them as food for wildlife!

    Hi Jan, hope she has babies, but we won't hold our breath ...

    Sharon, thanks for your encouraging appreciative comment.

    Cheers, catmint


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