From dawn to dusk, whether it be sunny or cloudy, but warm, my massed ranks of garden Michaelmas daisies are a-buzz with the sonorous sound of honey-bees and assorted bumble-bees all with bulging pollen baskets attached to their legs (pictured).

When the sun shines, they are joined by hoverflies, metallic green flies and occasional small white butterflies.

The Michaelmas daisy is a nectar and pollen-rich plant so welcome in autumn when most other flowers have faded.

Belonging to the aster genus, its name reflects the main flowering period from late September to the end of October.

Non-native, it was introduced centuries ago from North America but it is most certainly a desirable alien.

This summer the small white butterfly population has been exceptional and the cause of much favourable comment.

I hoped a final brood would appear in late September and that happily occured with its flight period extending beyond normal.

Followng last year's record low butterfly populations this excellent summer has really helped most species to recover to some extent.

Provided the weather holds we can expect to see dragonflies hawking and darting about over water up until November.

On wet days, daddy-long-leg flies are emerging from grassy areas, lumbering into our houses often shedding the odd leg or two as they go.

So, autumn has much to offer with the Michaelmas daisy and also ivy flowers playing vital roles in the insect world.