|Garden pebble on our wall the evening of the 11th|
We came across this brilliant buddleia!
|How many butterflies can you count?|
|....and in this one|
These were the beautiful views seen from the ramparts.
This area was alive with colourful wild flowers which attracted an abundance of butterflies and bees!
|Is this wild carrot?|
|The first brown argus I'd ever seen!|
|Brown argus with the sun shining on it|
While I was admiring this little gem, mum declared she had seen a swallowtail! I rushed over and it was settled on a dead plant on the edge of the wall. I crouched down ever so slowly and with only my 18-55mm lens on my camera tried to edge closer for a photo. I was just ready to click when it disappeared. I wasn't prepared to jump the 20 foot drop in order to chase this magnificent butterfly. I was happy just to have seen one!
From montreuil we carried on driving towards Le Crotoy which is on the estuary of the river Somme. We parked, had a stroll, bought an ice cream and wandered a while longer.
An expanse of water the other side of the wall revealed many gulls, a few grebes and this shag opening its wings, sunning itself.
In close proximity to Le Crotoy we had seen signs to Le Parc du Marquenterre and found it fairly easily. We weren't too sure what it would be like, and when we got there we found it was more like a french version of the wildfowl and wetlands trust reserves we have in our country - i.e. you pay to get in and can't enter after a certain time. That will be a day trip in the future then. After this little detour we had to head back to Calais to catch our ferry home, but we got stuck in a lot of traffic and missed our allotted ferry. We also nearly ran out of petrol so more delay, but luckily when we arrived at the port the woman at the kiosk type thing happily let us board the next one. Not such a disaster after all! An enjoyable day indeed!
Back to British soil...
I have been volunteering quite a bit more the last few weeks. I heard a "plop" whilst out water vole monitoring and got excited thinking it was a fury critter. However I noticed this lovely common frog and realised it was the culprit of the plop!
|The first small copper I had seen this year.|
|Barge sails in the background|
On Sunday 18th, mum and I drove to Tyland Barn which is where the head office is for Kent Wildlife Trust. It is more of an educational reserve, with a miniature meadow, wood piles, insect hotels and a pond. We saw good numbers of butterflies, hoverflies and some little micro-moths too.
|Female common blue|
|My first views of a chalkhill blue|
|Pyrausta purpuralis blends in beautifully with the wild marjoram|
|2 male common blues sharing this pretty marjoram|
|Chalkhill blue practically doing the splits between flowers|
I had work in the evening but we had time to stop off at Oare Marshes briefly to see if we could find any clouded yellows. Mum hadn't seen one before so I was quite eager to spot one or two. No luck, then in the distance I spotted one, almost like a large buttercup had been swept off it's stalk and just carried on floating in the gentle breeze.
Once home I popped out to see how the caterpillars were getting on with our kale. They had certainly munched through a fair amount of it. I couldn't see any chrysalises from the earlier batch of eggs. Do they trundle off to find a branch nearby, a little more concealed?! Or did they all just get eaten by some bird or other predator?
|Large white caterpillar|
|Younger batch of L white caterpillars|
More garden butterflies and moths....
|Well camouflaged meadow brown (20/08)|
|Meadow brown (20/08)|
|Silver Y moth (20/08)|
|Garden carpet I think (21/08)|
|Green-veined white (22/08)|
We had a much needed downpour of rain on Saturday 24th. I do love watching an almighty rainfall sitting inside, cosy and warm. Made me look forward to autumn and winter! A very silly thing to suggest I'm sure, but that is one of the aspects that I love about our country - the seasons! Each has something unique and wonderful to bring. Summer brings butterflies and bees and we celebrate it with Pimms and beer. Then autumn welcomes dew and birds heading back here for winter, crossing the paths of those returning to sunnier climes to avoid our cold spells ahead. Winter... the ducks and geese and other watery birds arrive upon our shores. Hoare frosts and snowy trees make for the perfect winter wonderland photos. Then spring again and all the birds are singing their songs and showing off, ready to start the breeding season once more. Some people say they wish it was summer all the time. That would just be plain boring though! You would never appreciate it! Maybe talk of autumn is a little premature, maybe we will see a bit more sunshine and encounter an Indian summer.