On Thursday afternoons this academic year I will be working in Carnforth, and finishing earlier than I do normally – ideal for a stomp over Warton Crag on the way home. It was bright and sunny again, although the wind had picked up a little.
When I was a kid the butterflies which most often visited our garden were small tortoiseshells. When we were in Laugharne a few weeks ago, we came across a buddleia, growing against a wall in a car-park, which was festooned with them – I counted as far as 50 and gave up, there may have been a hundred or more. It occurred to me then that I don’t see small tortoiseshells in the Silverdale area particularly often. On Thursday they were out in force – on a buddleia in Warton and on common knapweed on Warton Crag. I didn’t se them in the same concentration as we had in Laugharne, but I did see lots of them.
This is large selfheal which my field guide (Aichele and Schwegler) says is ‘Not native in Britain’. Also:
Needs calcareous soil which is warm in the summer. Dry turf.
Which is a pretty fair description of Warton Crag.
Another orb-web spider.
An unidentified yellow fly on yarrow.
I love the view from the top of Warton Crag – on this occasion the view changed my plan for an onward route: I noticed that the salt-marsh had been inundated by a spring tide and decided to head for Quaker’s Stang to take a look, despite having been that way the day before.
I saw almost as many speckled wood butterflies as I did small tortoiseshells, but they proved to be much more elusive when I tried to photograph them. Not as elusive, however, as the flies which were bouncing about above the track down to the crag road. For some reason I decided to try and photograph them and although I didn’t manage to get anything of any value in the camera’s memory I do have something special stored away in my own internal vault: a backlit hoverfly gilded golden and silver, apparently infused with light. Marvellous.
The flooded salt-marsh.