Winter Weather in South East England 2009-2010

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  • #14041

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all

    The winter here in my part of the UK has been the worst I can remember since 1982 long before I had my Butterfly House. I have lost over a thousand Yellow Admirals Imagines so far since the bad weather started just before Christmas 17th December. The worst aspect has been the overcast cloudy cold conditions. In most winters even if cold the sun will shine on many days and heat up the Butterfly House, but not this winter. Because of this my Admirals have really suffered. I have just released my last large stocking of Imagines in to the Butterfly House. I only have about 30 more larvae pupating around this time, and then It will be all over, unless the sun comes out within the next week or two and for more than 3 or 4 days in a row. If they die out this year it will be 13 years from the same stock. The only comfort I can take away from this if they finaly die out is that, at last I can have a rest, It has taken up all my spare time just to keep them going and I never imagined I could do this for so long. I expected them to last 1 or 2 years at the most, 13 years what not even a dream. However maybe a miricle will occur and the sun will appear and make sure I have my work cut out for a while longer. As the saying goes " it's not over until the fat lady sings" any fat ladies out there wanna help me get a rest?

Viewing 16 replies - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
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  • #23321

    Terry
    Participant

    Monday 1st March, Sunny, Eggs laid, pairings in evening, Tuesday (today) not looking bad either but I am at work. The last eggs I collected from previous pairings were all infertile so I am waiting with anticipation to see if these latest pairings are fertile. If the Stock has finally become so inbred that fertility has decreased I will not be so upset as at least it wasn't the winter weather that beat me. Watch this space to see what happens next.

    #23281

    Terry
    Participant

    The weather office said this morning Friday 26th Feb, strong westerly winds but with long sunny spells, I have got strong winds and next to no sunny spells, and it is 11:41 am as I write this. I still find it hard to believe that I still have any Iteas left. however I now have 40 pupae from eggs rescued from Butterfly house that survived winter. the Iteas that paired last month laid infertile ova due to the fact that it took 2 weeks from pairings to the next sunny day, by that time they needed pairing again and were back to infertile. Last Saturday we had sunshine as reported on the forum, and I had 10 pairings, I thought my luck had changed, but as we have had no sunshine since then these will be infertile again soon. ELG Member Derek Smith noticed this when he had Itea and Gonerilla and said that they need to repeatedly pair to remain fertile., It is now over 2 months since this weather started 17th December and I cannot remember a winter where we have had only 6 sunny days in 2 1/2 months and then only single days at a time and not all day. March starts next week and if it doesn't change soon I will have been defeated by the weather.
    (Continued) 27th Feb. The weather yesterday afternoon cleared and the temperatures in the Butterfly House climbed to 23 deg C, although the Females laid no eggs, I had 16 pairings by evening. All that is required now are some warm sunny days and all should be well. The trouble is we have a forecast for Sunday 28th Feb, of Gale force winds and heavy rain, this storm that is over Portugal at this moment is severe and causing heavy damage and is due to hit South East England by tomorrow. The long range forecast for my area is improving by Wednesday but I have been here before and tend not to take much notice of the weather experts who get it wrong most of the time. I am "drinking in the last chance saloon" once again, as the saying goes, but who knows maybe my luck will change and the Sun will come out and rescue me at the last moment! Oh by the way I forgot to mention, I write this on Sat 27th and no prizes for guessing but Yes!!! It's raining again!

    #23238

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all

    Wednesday morning here and yes! It's still raining. The fact that its a bit warmer, 6 deg C helps but it's sunshine I need.
    How much longer can this go on?

    #23221

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Where are you Carrie?

    I'm currently in Napier and they comment here about the "poor" season, although I find it delightful. It seems that we in the Far North have had the Hawkes Bay summer, and vice versa!

    Jacqui

    #23218

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Terry,

    I have just joined this forum. Have just come back from the UK six months ago after having lived there for nearly seven years. I adore the snow and seems I have missed the best snowfall you've had yet! However, there certainly is a down-side to it and it's often the animal life that suffer. In Scotland, many of the wild deer have died of starvation as they can't reach the grasses under the heavy snow – it's terribly sad. I'm very sorry to hear about your butterfly house and I hope you get the sun soon to warm it up. Despite the snowlover that I am, I'm sure even I would be getting fed up with all that cold weather by now. I agree with Gill above though – we could certainly do with some rain – my garden is drying up and it's so hot and muggy here. Best of luck.

    #23208

    Gilly
    Participant

    Aahhh… rain.. how we would like some…. been 5 months without Terry. No water reticulation… just tanks, we rely on and ours are down, down down…..I blame Bush 😀

    #23207

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi all

    Saturday 20th Feb, the sun came out, the yellow admirals flew, fed on the nectar, and I had 10 pairings by late afternoon. My spirits raised I went indoors and checked out the long range weather forecast, Rain, sleet, and more rain all week. Sometimes I think i am being tested beyond my endurance. Anyway! If these females survive until the sun shines again or the weather ( met office) have got it wrong as they do 70% of the time I could see my fortunes change for the better. However I have been in this position before and it's all gone wrong. Keep the good vibes coming and thanks to all who have wished me well!
    P.S it's pouring down with rain outside my office window as I write this on Monday morning

    #23154

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Terry,

    We are all still wishing up some rays of sun-shine for you over here.

    How are your butterflies now? When will you know if the eggs were fertile?

    Are you able to bring indoors for a few days, or wouldn't that help?

    Hang in there.

    Jane

    #23135

    Terry
    Participant

    Hi to you all!

    Thanks for all your good vibes! some reached South East England yesterday. We had sunshine and a tatty female Yellow Admiral laid a few eggs, I just hope she was one of the old stock that paired 2 weeks ago and she is still fertile as she could save my year. I also had one more pairing, however the weather for the next few days is cold with possible snow showers, Help I need more sunshine!!!Please keep the good vibes coming over, it could really be working!!!!

    #23127

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Miracles can happen Terry.
    Sending positive thoughts your way;-)

    Char

    #23125

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Hi Terry,

    Hang in there mate, we are all sending you positive vibes.

    Norm.

    #23115

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Rotten winter for Britain, Terry. Sorry it's taken such a toll on your butterflies – that is a huge loss.
    Hope the sun gets on the butterfly house quicksmart.
    Best
    Trisha

    #23112

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Terry,

    Have gagged all the fat ladies within my reach! All the best. Thinking of you – Jane

    #23109

    Gilly
    Participant

    I've heard that you have had a dreadful winter Terry. Hope spring comes quickly for you with some lovely sunshine. Up here in the north of NZ we are in a bad drought with no rain here in Russell for about 4 to 5 months now. Everything is scorched and our wildlife is having a tough time getting food and water. I have bowls of water out everywhere for the birds and am feeding them heaps to help them along. So you would be very welcome to our sun! 🙂

    #23107

    happyjohnny
    Participant

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for you Terry.
    Hope you get some sunshine.

    #23106

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I hope the miracle happens for you, Terry.

Viewing 16 replies - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

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