Whitsun Weekend at Home

P1120732

Last weekend the surfnslide crew came to stop for the weekend. We’ve had a few Whitsun get togethers before, both down in Herefordshire at their house and here in Silverdale. This one was all too brief, just the long weekend, but got our week off to a great start, and, to me at least, has made it feel like I’ve had a much longer break than a week. (Not a bad trick!)

As usually seems to be the case, the weather was a bit mixed, but we definitely made the most of it, filling in the time between decent spells of weather with various board games and the usual menu of chit-chat and cups of tea.

On the Saturday morning, before the storms came, we had a short stroll down to the Cove and then across the Lots, where we played frisbee for a while as you can see above.

P1120706

At the Cove some of the children wanted to explore the smelly cave and another fetid little hole they have discovered on the other side of the Cove at the base of the cliff.

P1120705

The back of the Cove is once again resplendent with a mass of small yellow flowers, I think it’s Sea Radish, although, having just read the relevant entry in ‘The Wildflower Key’, I now know how to distinguish Sea from Wild Radish, so I shall check on my next trip. Anyway, the radishes, of whatever variety, were thronged with various small insects.

P1120707

This striking red weevil like creature (I can’t find what it actually is) was the smallest I photographed.

P1120708

I think that this rather dapper chap may be some kind of Saw Fly, but there over 400 British species and my ‘Complete British Insects’ only has photographs of a handful of them.

P1120709

There were many Bumblebees, but they are constantly on the move and always hard to photograph.

P1120714

This is a Red-tailed Bumblebee, a worker. Sometimes I am slow on the uptake: it’s finally sunk in that the huge bumblebees I see, mainly in the spring, and the much smaller ones I see in the summer, are of the same species, the size difference being because queens are so much larger than workers.

On the other hand, random titbits of information seem to nestle in obscure corners of my brain. I knew, when I saw it, that this…

P1120720

…was a ladybird larva. With a bit of lazy internet research I now think it to be a 7-Spot Ladybird larva. Odd looking creature.

P1120722

There were a fair few hoverflies about too. I was pleased to capture an image of this specimen in flight, and doubly chuffed to find that it is easily identifiable, because of the pattern on the abdomen, as Episyrphus Balteatus, a very common species which apparently sometimes migrates in swarms from continental Europe. Quite a competent flier then!

P1120725

Alongside the radishes there is a substantial patch of Crosswort. My collection of herbals and plant books have little to say about this unassuming plant with it’s whirls of tiny yellow flowers, but I am always cheered to find it.

P1120726

The plant surreptitiously creeping into the righthand-side of the photo is Goosegrass or Cleavers or Stickyweed, a close relative of Crosswort. Both are Galiums, apparently from the Greek Gala meaning milk, as Goosegrass at least was sometimes used as a rennet in the production of cheese.

On the Lots, the Early Purple Orchids have finished, and the Green-winged Orchids…

P1120729

…are not far behind. According to ‘A Guide to the Wild Orchids of Great Britain and Ireland’, Green-winged Orchids were once widespread, but ‘must now be considered a threatened species’. A sobering thought.

After our short outing, the afternoon brought a terrific display of dark skies, lightning and thunder and then very heavy rain. We watched from our patio as impressive bursts of forked lightning cleaved the skies and listened to the rumbles of thunder, apparently coming from all sides. When the long threatened deluge finally arrived, we retreated inside. Quite a show while it lasted though.

Advertisements
Whitsun Weekend at Home

4 thoughts on “Whitsun Weekend at Home

  1. Not only are bumblebee workers and queens different in size, but workers of the same species from the same nest can vary in size (depending on the amount of food they receive while they’re larvae). Larger workers tend to forage more while smaller workers are more likely to perform tasks in the nest.

    I’m glad you spotted a native ladybird larvae as I only see the Harlequin ladybird larvae, which are red and black. They remind me of sticklebricks.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      That’s something I didn’t know – thanks.
      I had a whole load of Harlequin Ladybirds in my room at work earlier this year, but I haven’t seen the larvae, I shall keep my eyes peeled.

  2. Nice start to the weekend, these short walks are what make your locale so special. Even with limited time or the threat of a downpour there is always a great walk to be had. The mixed weather also gave me chance to remember of rubbish I am/was at basketball 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s