Keen followers of this blog will have been aware that my posts about our trip to Towyn Farm this year could not yet be complete, since every visit inevitably includes a walk up Carn Fadryn. This year was no different. Once again we chose a splendidly sunny afternoon and as usual had the hill to ourselves. It sits in splendid isolation and gives terrific views of the peninsula and to the hills and coast of Snowdonia.
The kids all romped to the top at great speed. I was distracted, as ever, by various interesting bits and bobs: a lizard skittered across the path in front of me, a huge orange moth also eluded my camera. I did manage to catch this…
…gatekeeper, a butterfly which we don’t see at home in Lancashire
On the summit we were royally entertained by two painted ladies…
..butterflies that is, of course. Summer visitors like ourselves. I’d recently been reading (in ‘The Butterfly Isles’) about their remarkable migration north from the mountains of Morocco. A new generation goes from egg to butterfly in just one month, and then they are on the move again. Two of their close cousins, red admirals, were flying with them, or perhaps I should say sparring with them. It was hard to tell which was the aggressor but I believe I’m right in saying that painted ladies are very pugnacious. Certainly one of the red admirals was extremely tatty with great rents in its wings.
This moth was up and about near to the summit too. I think that it’s a ‘northern spinach’, which is found on heaths and moors and feeds on bilberry which was abundant hereabouts. I have no idea why it’s called a ‘spinach’. As to the ‘northern’ part of its moniker, looking at the distribution map it lives everywhere but the south-east – which seems to be the BBC’s definition of ‘the north’.
We tried a little aviation of our own, using a pocket kite I often carry, with surprisingly poor results given how windy it was – perhaps there was just too much turbulence. We had to settle for sunbathing, admiring the view, snacking on bilberries and trying to ignore the precarious situations our boys got themselves into clambering on the rocks. Oh – and on the trig pillar:
The boys and our pal E. ‘I climbed up all on my own Dad.’