Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Some more August photos and Bracken turns 1!

A visit to Sevenoaks Nature reserve 

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!


Going...

Going...

Almost gone!
We walked down to this lake and almost as soon as we arrived at this tranquil scene, a flash of iridescent blue was spotted by mum. I caught a brief glimpse too!


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!

18 comments:

  1. Lovely post Lou- makes summer feel a bit distant! Fantastic to get two new butterfly species and the photos of them are great. Finally- Happy Birthday Bracken. Hope he had a good day? (nice to see a piccy of you too). CT x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks CT doesn't it just! Coats and wellies are very unfamiliar items of clothing indeed! He had a lovely day I think - but being a dog he unfortunately couldn't tell us. It involved a disgusting smelling chew, which he demolished, and a new ball that is supposedly indestructible. We shall see about that!! x

      Delete
  2. Your damsons made my mouth water. I do wish we had more fruit trees up here, but they just won't grow. Wonderful photos as ever, especially of you and Bracken. Amazing how puppies change so totally. I remember being told Snippet would be fully mature by the age of two but, frankly, it took till he was three before there was any significant calming!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Em. I can't see Bracken ever calming down! We shall see! I bet he and Jack and Snippet would have great fun playing together!

      Delete
  3. Lovely post and great photos especially of you and Bracken - hope he had a great 1st birthday.

    Well done on the unusual Garden butterfly visitors especially the female Brown Argus - a superb sighting :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks RR :) I couldn't believe my eyes re. butterflies!

      Delete
  4. Stunning macro shots,lovely name for a dog.
    Happy Bithday Bracken.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful shots as always Lou and I like the Common Darter series of photos :-) You are very lucky to have a Brown Argus in your garden but as you say it always difficult to be sure ID wise without seeing the underwing pattern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your very kind comment David :) the under-wing is just clear enough in this case, but the instant I saw it I thought it was an argus.

      Delete
  6. What a cool name for a dog. Thanks for sharing your photos - they're fab, as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tim, you're very kind to say so. Bracken was rescued from some woods in Ireland so thought it was a fitting name!

      Delete
  7. HI Lou Mary great post and wonderful that you got the 2 butterflies.Love your dog and yses he is big

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Margaret. Sometimes he looks huge and other times when he curls into a cute little ball, one may mistake him for a tiny little terrier or something!

      Delete
  8. The dragonfly sequence and captions had me laughing. Sevenoaks reservoir looks an interesting spot.
    I alway think it's shame when dogs grow so quickly, just wish they'd calm down at the same rate :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always think the darters look like they are smirking or something. Very expressive faces I think!

      He did grow quite quickly, seems an age ago that he was that little diddy thing!

      Delete
  9. Marjoram and heather are two plants I need to get for the garden for next year. Great close ups and the Brown Argus is beautiful, how lovely to have it in the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we should get some for our garden too! The insects love it!

      Delete