Linda has recently been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Flowers, cards and presents are not appropriate for her at this time; she is also not able to receive visitors.
She wishes to thank her GP and the staff of Cheltenham General Hospital.
She is also grateful to all blood donors across the country.
You are welcome to comment by clicking on "Comments" below.
Butterfly Garden Journal
British butterfly sightings from a garden in Cirencester, Gloucestershire and also sightings from the English countryside - a web blog by Linda Walls
Monday, July 26
Linda has recently been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Wednesday, July 14
I went for a blood test this morning. My doctor came to see me this evening. I am being admitted to Cheltenham Hospital tomorrow.
Consequently there will be a break in reports from this Cirencester butterfly garden. It's just coming up to the peak butterfly season. What bad timing! It may be a while before I'm back on-line. Hope you get to see lots of butterflies in the meantime.
The day started gloomy but by the end of the afternoon, the sun was shining. 4-5 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were around the Buddleia davidii 'Nanho Blue' at the front.
I saw one Small Tortoiseshell on Lantana camara.
There must have been a similar number of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the back garden on the Buddleias, Field Scabious and a cultivated, larger form of Scabious. There were also 2 Gatekeepers visiting a Hebe, Verbena bonariensis and Field Scabious.
Tuesday, July 13
A Meadow Brown was in the front garden this morning along with several Small Tortoiseshells.
Later I saw the first Gatekeeper of this season at the back and then a Ringlet at the front.
The Gatekeeper was around the Field Scabious with the Small Tortoiseshell butterflies. It visited this Nicotiana plant and I'm wondering whether it was feeding on it. The Ringlet was on Field Scabious at the front but flew off to rest on a Ceanothus when it saw the camera coming.
Sunday, July 11
Several Small Tortoiseshell butterflies about this morning, plus a Large White on Field Scabious and Verbena bonariensis. Found one Small Tortoiseshell on a Privet flower.
I have 4 Privet bushes. They were forming a hedge with a neighbouring garden when we moved here in January 2000. I've cut them back drastically twice. I've trimmed them recently and I left the few flowers. My side of this hedge faces north-east so I rather suspected that any butterfly would be on the other side. Privet is supposed to be a butterfly plant. Consequently, I was delighted to see a Small Tortoiseshell proving the books right!
Yesterday, a Small Tortoiseshell was spotted on my trouser leg when I was stood in the front garden!
Friday, July 9
A Red Admiral was on a Buddleia Lochinch at the back for most of the morning. I also saw it visit Ageratum in a nearby flowerpot. Later, I saw a Small Tortoiseshell on the same Ageratum. This is one small plant; a few years ago I planted several in a big pot to produce a much more noticeable splash of colour and even though Ageratum was listed in my books as a butterfly plant, I only saw one Large White visit it then. Think I should now add Ageratum to my plant list since I've seen 3 species on it. The flowerpot is in quite a sheltered spot with Buddleia, Verbena and Field Scabious nearby and it's low - I'm thinking that the butterflies may like it when the wind increases and the clouds come over because it's close to the paving slabs where they often go to rest in those conditions.
The other Buddleia Lochinch in the back garden was leaning dramatically after very strong winds this week. I've propped it up with a brick at the base. 3 Small Tortoiseshells were on that one.
There were several Small Tortoiseshell butterflies at the front too. One was showing a preference for the French Marigolds. I saw others on Verbena bonariensis, Field Scabious, Heliotrope and Buddleia 'Nanho Blue'. Buddleia 'Black Knight' and Buddleia Lochinch are also beginning to flower in the front garden but I haven't seen butterflies on them yet.
Tuesday, July 6
I took my own advice and stopped to look for butterflies in the sunshine at a garden centre. There was a table of herbs and a table of alpine plants. The flutter of butterfly wings was coming from one spot, so I went to investigate. I found several Small Tortoiseshells on flowers of what were labelled only as "alpine plants".
They look like Field Scabious to me! My husband took the next photograph:
Was I wearing the right colour?
When I arrived home, I spotted a White butterfly on Lobelia "Cambridge Blue" in my hanging basket. It moved to the Lobelia "Sapphire" on the other side of the basket. I'm not sure whether it was a Small White or a Large White.
There are several Small Tortoiseshell butterflies here; 4 were on the Field Scabious just now.
Monday, July 5
The surprise in the garden came this evening when I was watering my plants; I disturbed what appeared to be a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. I must look out for it tomorrow as I think it settled in the vicinity of my favourite Hyssop plant for the night.
When I went out this morning, there were 4 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies and one Painted Lady butterfly in the front garden. When I returned this afternoon, there were still 4 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies in the front visiting Verbena bonariensis, Field Scabious, Heliotrope, Hebe and Buddleia 'Nanho Blue'.
The back garden held 5 Small Tortoiseshell butterflies; one on Field Scabious and 4 on a patch of Sweet Williams that get the sun in the late afternoon.
Sunday, July 4
A Comma butterfly was resting on a plastic flowerpot for a long time this morning. Later, I presume the same butterfly was visiting the white Sweet Williams. There have been a couple of Small Tortoiseshells at both the front and back. I saw one on French Marigolds at the back; the first visitor to Buddleia 'Nanho Blue' at the front was a Small Tortoiseshell too.
Friday, July 2
Thursday, July 1
Saw two Comma butterflies feeding on Bramble as I walked home from the doctor's surgery this morning.
There was a flurry of butterfly activity in my front garden as I walked through the gate and once in the kitchen, I could see butterflies in the back garden too. On a quick investigative foray into the back garden, I found a number of Small Tortoiseshells on Hebe plants and Sweet Williams, plus a Meadow Brown on a Hebe too. Taking my camera, I headed out of the front door to see 5 Small Tortoiseshells basking on the front terrace whilst a cloud passed overhead. I headed back along the path to get a photograph of the Comma on a Bramble and another image with it's wings closed; this shows the white mark on the underside that gives the butterfly it's name.
This afternoon my neighbours took me to a small Gloucestershire nature reserve. I think I have taken some of my best ever images of Marbled White, Ringlet and Large Skipper; there were plenty of those butterflies about. I saw one Small Tortoiseshell on Knapweed, one Meadow Brown, one Speckled Wood and one Common Blue on Bird's Foot Trefoil. I thought I might have seen a Small Heath but didn't manage to confirm it. I'm linking from this journal to the updated butterfly pages because I've added so many images to the website that it would be crazy to list them all here.
I also photographed some of the day-flying Burnet Moths. I managed a nice picture of a Five-spot Burnet moth, a rather blurred picture of a Six-spot Burnet moth which is here for the record, and a shot of two five-spot burnet moths.