I think I may have found the only patch of ivy in the village that’s still flowering – and it happens to be on top of the old farm wall that forms part of our boundary. The bad news is that the wall is six feet tall even before you add in its thick thatch of ivy, so after I’d strained every sinew for a while, trying to photograph the diners from ground level, I lugged one of the heavy patio chairs across the yard, clambered up, and shot in comfort – if not, perhaps, in safety. If you’ve read my drivel for any length of time you’ll know that I have a fractious (not to say fractured) relationship with gravity, and I don’t mind admitting that I was relieved when I could step back down onto solid ground. Not that I wouldn’t be capable of tripping over my own feet and going flying, even then…

Out of a surprisingly successful and productive garden safari, I’ve chosen to feature this Eristalis pertinax because the light was especially nice at that point, and gives the impression of a much more summery day than it really was. Which I’ll take quite happily, at the end of the first week of November. The hoverfly looked pretty fresh, so she must have emerged quite late in the season; I hope that she’s been able to find a mate and complete her reproductive cycle.

The extra shows a rather attractive leafhopper I found on the photinia – a shrub screen that continues to provide me with some nice beetles and bugs. A couple of hemiptera experts on Facebook have identified it as Allygus modestus, which is a species of damp deciduous woodlands. It’s about 7mm long, which makes it fairly big by comparison with most of the leafhoppers I find here, and although you can’t see it in the flat light on this photo, it was slightly iridescent. I’ve put a different image which shows that effect, along with a few others from today, in a post on my Facebook page, if you’d care to take a look.