This morning I found this beautiful pair of Buff-tip moths mating in my garden, but that's not the start of the story... it all began way back last August.
The first sign was a large batch of small white eggs on the underside of a hazel leaf, and before long hundreds of tiny golden-yellow caterpillars emerged.
They started by eating the eggshells but soon moved onto hazel leaves and and over the next few weeks put on an impressive display of synchronised feeding. First they attacked the underside of the leaf, then the whole leaf and by the time they were fully grown entire bushes were being devoured!
In addition to being facinating creatures, the hundreds of caterpillars did a great job of saving me having to prune my hedge last summer, so hopefully the female at the top of the page will lay a new batch of eggs and I'll be able to watch the whole process unfold again this year.