At the height of summer a variety of flowers are copious providers of nectar and pollen for insects. Two of the very best are ragwort and bramble, both having multiple florets adorning the plants.

Ragwort can be a pest on agricultural land and its leaves contain an alkaloid poison that remains potent in the dried form if accidentally gathered in hay, so can prove fatal to farm animals if eaten.

However, when cattle and horses are not present it is a most valuable addition to our flora, the yellow flowers being a magnet for insects. Often large groups of black and yellow hooped caterpillars, being the larvae of the day- flying cinnabar moth can be seen. In the insect world, combinations of  yellow and black and red and black denote toxicity and act as warning colours to would be predators.

Bramble, or blackberry has no fewer than two thousand varieties but such differences are difficult to discern. 

On hot sunny days bramble flowers attract a huge variety of insects, especially butterflies and bumble bees.

Then, in late summer, we can enjoy picking the ripened blackberries. But, a word of warning! folklore tells us that blackberries should not be eaten after Michaelmas day (29th September) as the devil 'spits on them'!

That ancient belief arises from the fact that the berries begin to rot and become mushy, Even then, they are still attractive to insects and the speckled wood butterfly  can be seen imbibing fermenting juice from overripe berries.

The illustration shows a comma butterfly on bramble flowers