Wednesday, August 31, 2011
In our garden this afternoon, the enormous caterpillar of the elephant hawk moth, trying to frighten us with his evil eye trick, and below a female spider carrying her egg sac with her to ensure the best start possible for her off-spring.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
link). It is in a good cause and good fun for small children although Spot wasn't allowed in! Mind you he is contemplating taking in some donkeys.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sometimes as this morning a walk becomes life enhancing. The mist in the valley was just lifting as the day warmed up. The first thing we saw was the brilliant flash of blue of a kingfisher, and although we did not realise it at the time (at least maybe subliminally we did) he posed on a branch while we photographed the river. Then the meadows were full of butterflies. Usually fritillaries are very nervous but today they seemed oblivious to our presence. It quickly became clear that it was mating day and the air was full of males fighting for the attention of a few ragged females. Apart from the barrel rolling flight which is very difficult to photograph, we saw a male and female land together and the male embark on a trembling wing display before mating. And then on the way home we found some very fresh otter spraint. And the sun was out. And all was well with the world.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Spot taking a close look at some red bartsia, a semi parasite of grass. Maybe he has toothache (qv).The last flowers of the summer are coming out in a tangled profusion, including from the bottom up, water mint, birds foot trefoil, purple loosestrife, meadowsweet, and hogweed at the top
there was news this morning of a new initiative at Kew Millennium Seed Bank to generate seed of our native meadow plants (link). Nearly all of the plants mentioned grow locally except the harebell, although the ivy leaved harebell is found in local woods. The devil's-bit scabious is just beginning to flower (the violet flowers top left) in amongst the purple knapweed
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
white tailed bumble bee but the other bands should be a brighter yellow so it may be another species.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
On our walk this evening the lane was full of red admirals and speckled wood butterflies. They seem to take possession and guard 5 or 10 metres of hedgerow, racing up and down and fighting off all intruders. The air was full of butterflies being aggressive, and this rather battered individual was taking a breather before lurching (appropriate word for this blog) off to do some more fighting. So much for the quiet life. More like boy racers.