Assembling a stately pile for ladybirds

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/how-to-make-insect-hotel-ladybird-lodge.html

Meet my amazing Bay tree Laurus nobilis. It is as high as the house and it makes a novel curtain for the window you can’t see in this image. Apparently they can grow even taller, up to about 59 feet. It is currently home to a pair of wood pigeons, who can be seen when passing the window. You can make out the stately pile at the base among the leaf litter.

Have you heard that in some winters, British Rail get the wrong type of leaves laying on the tracks? Well the instructions on the Natural History Museum site made sense but I think I have the wrong types of cones to assemble this. Still, further down the page, they mention that a found heap could be being occupied, so I customised the instructions and combined aspects of both.

Ladybird Hotel 1

I collected 2 types of cones and made 2 stately piles, the other is beneath a conifer hedge, Leylandii possibly? I have quite low expectations, especially as the only ladybird larva seen this year are harlequins, but fingers crossed that either or both piles will appeal as prime real estate to wildlife.

Ladybird Hotel 2
One of life’s small mysteries

This red tennis ball appeared under the Bay tree the other day. It is nothing to do with us; I expect it was lost in the branches by a previous resident and probably dislodged by the pigeons. But the position where I first saw it, is not where it is now. We don’t have pets and seems very unlikely that next door’s cat would disturb it. It is an unusual colour for a tennis ball too. But it is curious.

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