On Sunday 25th August - we met my Auntie here and spent a few hours exploring the reserve before we had to head back so I could get to work on time.
We ate our picnic, accompanied by many wasps and therefore the few people that were around, were treated to my wasp dance! They have a lovely wild flower garden with a small pond and some nice wooden seats. This reserve is also home to the worlds largest insect hotel - in the Guinness book of records! There were certainly plenty of bees, butterflies, dragonflies and spiddy spiders!
|Bumble on marjoram|
|Gatekeeper on heather|
|An odd alien looking fly thing - possibly Tachina fera|
|Common darter in the first of a few poses...if you flick through them quickly it kind of makes the wings look like a child's arms when pretending to be an aeroplane!|
|A lone pond skater, its delicate legs making a slight impression on the waters surface|
It was a great reserve and definitely one which we would like to return to!
A bank holiday walk
We used to go on a lovely walk when we lived in Teynham, past the village church, through orchards and down to a small river - the River Lyn (which I once did a primary school project on - very interesting history if I remember rightly). We hadn't been down there in a good few years so decided we would take a picnic and go and spend an afternoon reminiscing!
|Huge tree at the Church|
When we got to the little jetty and the rope swing by the river, we were rather irritated to find a couple of hooligan type lads hanging out down here. We were hoping for a peaceful, relaxing lunch stop, remembering how I used to jump on the rope swing and drag my wellie boot clad feet in the freezing cold river, my mum hoping I wasn't going to fall in. Instead we had to listen to the idiot guys messing around, being, well idiots. Bracken was also not impressed. He gave a somewhat protective bark. He hadn't done this before, so maybe he sensed our annoyance at them.
We moved on and walked through the orchards of apples, pears, cherries, damsons and plums, of which, some were past it, some were unripe and some were just right. We picked up some of the windfalls and carried on our way.
|Common darter. Amazing variation in their colours, from quite a rusty red (as in the earlier picture) to this yellowy green|
|Damson laden trees|
Some unexpected garden visitors!
We have never had a speckled wood butterfly in our garden before... I was very surprised to see this little beauty fluttering around in the shade!
You can imagine how excited I was at our next unusual visitor. I saw it briefly with closed wings and went to get my camera. Initially I thought it was a female common blue which in itself would have been wonderful but it had fluttered away before I got my camera. I stood and waited for 15 minutes or so and it returned to the hydrangea! Opened its small wings and instantly I realised it was a brown argus!!! Then a few days later I questioned whether it was indeed a female common blue, because they are very similar. The identification is really only separated by a few spots on the underneath of the wing. I can confirm that this is indeed an argus :)
The bottom of this web page - Uk butterflies is very helpful!
I found this lovely little moth critter on our highly contrasting recycling bin. I'm astonished it's little fury head wasn't squished by a bin collector's unknowing hands!
|Female orange swift? Or is it a female gold swift? Or neither?|
Today, well it was today when I started writing this, but as per it has taken me longer and the event which I am writing about was in fact yesterday. Anyway, Bracken turned the grand old age of 1 yesterday. When we got him as a wee little 2 month old nipper (and boy did he nip) this is what he looked like...
|Podgey little pup on his puppy toilet training pad the night we got him. Cute ey!|
And now look at him! He is nearly as big as me! Well sort of!
Expect more August photos and maybe some of September's snaps in the next post!