Saturday, July 31, 2010


Small copper butterfly from the side (above) and a crowd of different folk (including a small copper as more usually seen) enjoying some yarrow. Are we in danger of becoming a bug blog? Cassie (Spot's dam) has suffered a major injury to one of her hind legs and her leg has swollen up like a barrel (apparently, so our vet David Ellis says, this is something that happens to greyhound lurcher people) but she has been grounded for a few days and thus we are not going for long walks. It brings to mind that she is 11 years old now and showing some signs of age. What will we do without her?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

in the teeth of a dragonfly

it is usually very difficult to get up this close to a resting dragonfly, but this golden ringed dragonfly seemed happy to pose for posterity.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

gamete exchange ?

does anyone know what these slugs are up to? (They are not eating, unless they eat paving stones)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

more from the meadows

throughout the meadows were these webs which look like little strips of polythene wrapped around the heads of knapweed. I think they contain the young of the spider in the bottom photo, but I cannot identify the species from this photo (and trawling through the field guide to spiders is not for the faint hearted)

butterfly counting

It was British butterfly counting day today, so we went to our favourite meadow and walked through it for 15 minutes. The brambles have almost finished flowering, but the meadow is full of knapweed and in a few days will be a blaze of purple. Like last Sunday we saw many species, including three that were absent last week, the common blue, the peacock (top photo, very resplendent indeed), and the holly blue (bottom photo).This is only the second time in 5 years that we have seen and photographed a holly blue. There were ringlets, various whites and meadow browns beyond count, and a dozen large silver washed fritillaries.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

rainbow martins

after a very very wet day, the sun came out this evening to add a little background colour to the aerobatics

Monday, July 19, 2010

formation flying

it's that time of year again when newly fledged swallows are trying out and developing their aerial skills like a squadron of jet aircraft doing aerobatics.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

blackbird bathing beauty

even its mother wouldn't recognise this dishevelled mess of feathers as a blackbird

Sunday, July 11, 2010

more purple and orange

today we saw 14 species of butterfly in one meadow :- ringlet, meadow brown, small heath, speckled wood, large white, marbled white, small white, comma (lots of them) silver washed fritillary, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, small skipper, small copper, and gatekeeper; admittedly all quite common but nevertheless that is about 1 in 5 of all our native species (and no blues). The photo above is of the very attractive small copper, and the photo below is of yet another purple flowering plant (less common than some of the others).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

the Liskeard show 2

the warm up ring for horses and riders.
a crowd of alpacas

big bulls

donkey judging

the Liskeard show

Liskeard is about 10 miles (16km) away from us. The show is quite big and full of rural interest, especially food and livestock. England (or Cornwall if you prefer) as it used to be, and simple pleasures enjoyed by all.
Judging the live stock

waiting our turn.

taking risks

donkey derby


Friday, July 09, 2010

purple patches 2

and these

purple patches 1

we have noticed that as it moves towards mid summer and later there are more and more wild flowers in the blue mauve purple part of the spectrum. There are of course still lots of plants that flower in yellow and white but is there something that favours the UV end of the spectrum at this time of year? Maximum marks to anyone who can name all of the wild flowers in these two posts that we came across on our walk yesterday.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

more butterflies

at long last there are signs that the butterflies are returning. At the top are two gate keepers fighting/and or mating. Below are two photos of one of my local favourites the silver washed fritillary,(a male showing the 4 androconial lines of the fore-wings). These are big powerful fliers that fly on the edges of woods and love brambles.
. .

At the bottom is the comma, possibly the second generation this year, and suddenly there are a lot of them. And the meadows were full of ringlets and meadow browns. A lovely day for the amateur lepidopterist.


monkey flower

naturalised but not native, mimulus or monkey flower, photograhed here growing in the middle of a very boggy piece of land, which fortunately has dried out enough to allow close access to show amazing flower and landing strip.

meadow dogs

lounging around in a meadow full of bird's foot trefoil, stitchwort and bedstraw

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

honeysuckle cottage

honeysuckle growing on the wall of Spike's house (just across the road from us)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Lynher walk 3

in the green cathedral

Lynher walk 2

let's all go down to the Hogweed and hang out (longhorn beetles)

or maybe we prefer the Bramble, it's quieter (male and female demoiselle agrion)

Lynher walk

some images from our walk today.

a slow fly past by a heron

a skipper taking a rest

Sunday, July 04, 2010

inner ringlet

further to the picture several days ago, this shows the upper wings of the ringlet butterfly. There are relatively few species of butterfly about at present, but there seem to be hundreds of moths about at night.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

we all live in a yellow ...

the creamy yellow flowers of our native honeysuckle are bursting through the upper layers of the hedgerows, and above them a yellow hammer is singing his heart out.

Friday, July 02, 2010

adding a dash of colour

this is a young greater spotted woodpecker who is spending a lot of time in our garden. The parents may have nested in the cedar next to our house but it is very difficult to tell because the foliage is so dense.