Speckled Wood Butterfly.
After my early morning outing, I took A and S for a dip at our local swimming hole. I didn’t swim – I settled down on the shingle by the river, down behind the bank, which kept the wind off, and enjoyed a couple of cups of tea and a book.
The following afternoon, I tried to entice the kids out for a bike ride, but only A was interested. It was TBH’s idea – I wanted to visit Myer’s Allotment, Trowbarrow Quarry and Gait Barrows, on the hunt for butterflies and orchids and TBH suggested that connecting them by cycling between them would make it feasible to include all three in one afternoon trip.
Leighton Moss from Myer’s Allotment.
After my flurry of visits last spring, this was the first time I’d visited Myer’s Allotment since. I never seem to see many butterflies here, which is ironic since it’s a Butterfly Conservation Reserve, but there are always compensations, chiefly the fantastic view of Leighton Moss.
I’m pretty hopeless with yellow daisies, but I think that this might be Rough Hawkbit, based more on the photo I took of the very hairy leaves than on the flower.
Song Thrush with snack.
Common Blue Damselfly.
Only the second time I’ve seen a Black-tailed Skimmer and both have been at Myer’s Allotment.
Another short ride brought us to Trowbarrow Quarry…
…where there were lots of these…
Common Spotted Orchid.
But far fewer of these…
I’ve been aware that these can be found in the area for quite some time, but am very pleased to have finally seen some. The flower is adapted to mimic a bee apparently, in order to attract bees to facilitate cross-pollination. The plants take five to eight years to reach maturity, but are usually monocarpic, meaning that once they have flowered and set seed they die and won’t flower again.
Whilst A and I were crawling about looking for Bee Orchids to photograph, a movement caught the corner of my eye and turning I spotted this tiny…
Which flew close enough to this…
…to attract my attention and which in turn was growing close to…
Another Bee Orchid.
Another Speckled Wood.
On a warm, sunny afternoon the open glades at Gait Barrows seem to be perfect for butterflies.
Common Blue on Bird’s-foot Trefoil.
This has me very confused. The flower looks like a Crane’s-bill flower, but the leaves, seen out-of-focus in the background, are more like a pea type plant
Another Dingy Skipper.
We saw lots of Dingy Skippers and several orange butterflies. Mostly they were pretty elusive, but one sat where I could get a couple of photos…
I think that this is a Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary.
Large Red Damselfly.
Azure Damselfly. I know – it looks very like the Common Blue Damselfly above. Fortunately they have a distinctive mark on the second segment of their abdomens.
Female Broad-bodied Chaser.
Common Blue Butterfly.
Our Trusty Steeds.
TBH’s walk/cycle idea, henceforth know as going on a Wicycle, worked very well. Might even do it again some time. It’s even possible that if we do it a few times, I might finish one of our short cycling sections without feeling jelly-legged when I switch back to Shank’s Pony.