More Butterflies and Leaves

Eaves Wood – Arnside Tower – Saul’s Road – Arnside Knott – Heathwaite – White Creek – Far Arnside – The Cove – The Lots

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Red Admiral.

Early October, the weekend after we had a houseful, and in a typical Sod’s Law sort of a way the weather is fantastic, sunny, bright and even warm.

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Comma.

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In Eaves Wood.

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This Crane’s-bill doesn’t quite match any of the plants in ‘The Wild Flower Key’ so I wonder if it is a garden escapee?

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I was a bit puzzled by the colouration of this dragonfly, but having consulted my field guide, I now think that it is probably an older female Common Darter.

I ventured onto a small path on Arnside Knott which I haven’t taken before, which took me past…

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…a fox’s earth?

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Arnside Knott view.

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Arnside Knott panorama.

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Whitbarrow Scar.

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This area of marshy foreshore at White Creek has appeared during the time that I’ve lived in the area. It’s become quite wet and treacherous to walk on.

But there were still some Sea Asters…

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…flowering there.

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Burnett Rose.

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Bryony Berries.

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I took these photos of berries and leaves to help me identify a tree I didn’t recognise, but sadly I’m still none the wiser.

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Holly.

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Bell Heather.

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Sunset from the Cove.

I would have been nice if this weather had materialised a week earlier, so that we could have shared it with our friends. But, then again, it’s a bit churlish to complain; I enjoyed having to myself after all.

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These last two ‘bonus’ photos are from a different walk, back in September, when apparently I walked to Jack Scar to take some sunset photos (but no other photos!)

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More Butterflies and Leaves

Pulchritudinous Pruinosity

Lambert’s Meadow – Bank Well – The Row – Myer’s Allotment.

Later that day: A Tour of Trowbarrow

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Ragged Robin

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A Green-veined White on Cuckooflower.

Cuckooflower is one of the food-plants for the caterpillars of Green-veined  White. This butterfly was flitting from Cuckooflower t0 Cuckooflower, ignoring the many other blooms on offer. Green-veined Whites favour damp areas, which makes Lambert’s Meadow a perfect environment for them.

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Emerald Damselfly (I think).

At Myer’s Allotment my every step seemed to raise clouds of damselflies. Once landed again, they weren’t always easy to pick out against the ground, despite, in some cases, their vivid metallic colouration.

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Common Blue Damselfly.

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The Cinnabar.

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Bee Fly.

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Myer’s Allotment view.

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Broad-bodied Chaser (again).

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Black-tailed Skimmer.

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A new dragonfly to me and therefore very exciting. This is either a female or an immature male. Males ‘develop a blue pruinescence on the abdomen darkening to the rear with S8-10 becoming black’. (This from the British Dragonfly Society website).

S8-10 refers to the eighth to tenth segments of the tail.

Pruinescence, or pruinosity, is a dusty looking coating on top of a surface. Well I never. I particularly like pruinosity and shall be using it at every suitable opportunity. ‘Look at the pruinosity on ‘ere!’ for example.

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Another Green-veined White. (I think).

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Common Blue.

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Bird’s-foot Trefoil (with bee).

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Fossilised Coral at Trowbarrow.

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More Trowbarrow fossils.

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I think that this might be a Tree Bumblebee, a species which only arrived here from Mainland Europe this century and has spread rapidly, helped by the profusion of bird-boxes in the UK, where it tends to build nests, even sometimes evicting resident Blue Tits in the process. (Yes, I know, the temptation to draw some kind of political parallel here would be almost overwhelming were I of the persuasion that we can somehow up-anchor and sail away across the Atlantic, as many people seem to be at present. But I’m not.)

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Common Blue Damselfly.

Pulchritudinous Pruinosity

Loafing

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Last Whit a female Broad-Bodied Chaser visited our garden. This year we had two. Then another a couple of days later, or possibly a return visit from one of the first two. I half hoped that one of them had adopted our garden as its territory, but dragonflies are short-lived in their adult phase, and I’m not sure that they are at all territorial.

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If I hadn’t spent so much time loafing in the garden in the sunshine, I might have missed our visitors, so there’s something to be said for a little inaction.

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When the golden Summer has rounded languidly to his close, when Autumn has been carried forth in russet winding-sheet, then all good fellows who look upon holidays as a chief end of life return from moor and stream and begin to take stock of gains and losses. And the wisest, realising that the time of action is over while that of reminiscence has begun, realise too that the one is pregnant with greater pleasures than the other – that action, indeed, is only the means to an end of reflection and appreciation. Wisest of all, the Loafer stands apart supreme. For he, of one mind with the philosopher as to the end, goes straight to it at once, and his happy summer has accordingly been spent in those subjective pleasures of the mind whereof the others, the men of muscle and peeled faces, are only just beginning to taste.

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And yet though he may a little despise (or rather pity) them, the Loafer does not dislike nor altogether shun them. Far from it: they are very necessary to him…It is chiefly by keeping ever in view the struggles and the clamorous jostlings of the unenlightened making holiday that he is able to realise the bliss of his own condition and maintain his self-satisfaction at boiling-point.

Kenneth Grahame from the essay Loafing, collected in Paths to the River Bank

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I was struck by the size of the bees feet in this photo. Some trick of perspective?

If I didn’t have clamorous boaters anxious to wring the most out of their days on the Thames to observe, as The Loafer in Grahame’s essay goes on to do, I could at least wonder at the industry of the bees in amongst the Green Alkanet in the garden.

I did get out for the occasional stroll. The first was a late evening outing. It began with the cheerful accompaniment of a Blackbird singing…

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Then I seemed to be handed from the territory of one Chaffinch to another. They were perched in trees, on TV aerials, telephone wires, but every stretch of my route seemed to have an on looking Chaffinch. Finally, when I reached Jack Scout it was Thrushes and Blackbirds which dominated again.

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One Blackbird hopped around by my feet on the path, apparently unconcerned by my proximity.

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I’d hoped that by heading to Jack Scout I would find the last of the sunshine, but even there the paths were mostly in shade, although the birds overhead could still enjoy the sun…

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The low-angled light, where it could be found, worked nicely for photos though…

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I had a couple of fleeting glimpses of a Green Woodpecker and then followed it’s mysterious yaffle around the field, eventually creeping under an Oak in which the bird was perched and laughing (astonishingly loud up close), but just out of sight behind a screen of leaves. Needless to say, when I tried to move to get a view, and maybe a photo, the Woodpecker heard my inept attempt at stealth and was off and away in a flash.

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Loafing

Not November

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There’s a gale already raging outside as the latest winter storm rolls in off the Atlantic. These photos then, from the end of October, taken during a family stroll around Hawes Water and back home, are the antithesis of everything we’ve experienced since they were taken, full as they are of light, warmth, blue skies, butterflies, and leaves of myriad colours. Although November’s long since gone I’m put in mind of this poem by Thomas Hood, which, I’m surprised to find, I don’t seem to have shared through this forum before:

No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –
November!

November seems to be doggedly persistent this year having dragged on for at least twice it’s allotted interval now. I hope it exhausts itself soon.

Not November

Crookdale Horseshoe

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A much anticipated post this one, in one quarter at least. Seasoned followers of Beating The Bounds will remember my old friend CJ, who has appeared on this blog on many occasions. Some while back he polished off the Wainwright’s. At the time, I tried to convince him that bagging the Birkett’s would be a suitable project for him to embark upon next, and I’m pleased to say that he has seen the light and is now busily pursuing that course. And so it was, right at the end of the summer holidays, that we parked-up, close to the end of the little minor road into Crookdale, and set-off on a round of Crookdale, to pick up some lonely Shap Birkett’s.

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The summit of High House Bank (I suspect).

I should say, right at the outset, since CJ seems to be relying on me to be Watson to his Holmes and to document his exploits, that we successfully ticked-off High House Bank, Robin Hood, Lord’s Seat, Harrop Pike, Great Yarlside, Little Yarlside and What Shaw.

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Robin Hood (quite possibly).

The photos suggest that we had pretty good weather. In fact, the forecast had been quite mixed, but in the end we had very little rain, and came off quite lightly. The Shap fells aren’t always very enthusiastically reviewed, but this was mostly very pleasant walking, hardly spectacular, but well worth a visit, I thought.

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Last time I saw CJ (at X-Ray’s 50th party at the Gregson in Lancaster) he was demanding to know why I hadn’t got around to posting about this walk, and I’m afraid that now, at this remove, my recollections of the day are a bit sketchy. I know that we somehow managed to fill a long days walking with talk – one of the pleasures of walking with CJ is that the conversation is broad-ranging, often amusing and never flags.

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At one point, CJ almost stood on this pair of mating dragonflies. I’m pretty sure that these are Common Hawkers – ‘a large, powerful, but wary hawker, most common in late summer in upland areas of northern and western Britain’.

Birkett isn’t very encouraging about the ridge to Harrop Pike…

‘Harrop Pike lies a considerable distance and height away at the head of upper Crookdale. The terrain of rocky knolls and peat hag do not allow it to be easily reached from here.’

But CJ wasn’t too sure whether he’d climbed it before, and to me it seemed a more logical route than to drop down into the valley and climb out again, so we continued and stopped by the large cairn there for a bite of lunch.

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Looking back to Yarlside Crag.

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In all, a very satisfying outing, and I hope that CJ and I will be bagging some more Birkett’s soon. Maybe we’ll manage to entice X-Ray out for a wander too, you never know.

Crookdale Horseshoe

Oxburgh Hall

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Our last day in Norfolk. We were heading home in fact, but wanting to make the most of our opportunity, had decided to stop en route at Oxburgh Hall. Not that it was really on our homeward route, but in retrospect, it was well worth a bit of a diversion.

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There’s was lots to see. So much so that we didn’t get around to a walk around the extensive woods in the grounds.

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The house was interesting, both inside and out.

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You can possibly tell that it was the moat, and the views of the house across the moat which captivated me.

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I think the kids might pick their visit to the tight little priest hole as their highlight of the day. I deferred that pleasure for another visit – I had an unpleasant image of myself stoppering the entrance like Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s hole with washing dangling from his legs.

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But, as I say, it was definitely the moat for me. It had a huge cast of attendant dragonflies and damselflies. Some of the dragonflies were of quite a size – I like to think that they were Emperor’s, but I’m only speculating. Other dragonflies were mating in flight, quite a curious thing to see. I took lots of photos, none of them even remotely successful. The damselflies were more accommodating, often settling on a lily pad…

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These are red-eyed damselflies, which are apparently very fond of lily pads, and who don’t venture as far north as Silverdale: always nice to spot something not found on our home-patch.

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The moat is fed by water diverted from the River Gadder and very clean and clear looking it is. And abundantly full of fish. I wondered whether it had been stocked.

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There seemed to be at least two sorts of fish swimming about. Smaller stripy ones swimming nearer the bottom of the moat…

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…not sure what these are. Perch are quite heavily striped, but they aren’t really small. The larger fish however…

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…with their red fins, I think are probably Roach.

Meanwhile this bundle of fluff looks drab enough to be a young Coot, except that the colour on its beak makes me suspect that it might actually be a Moorhen.

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The formal gardens were resplendent, not just with flowers, but also with butterflies and moths. I would have been flummoxed by this little, colourful moth – it isn’t in my field guide, but fortuitously I discovered that it is a Mint Moth when a picture was posted over at Quercus Community

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Peacock.

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We did manage a little wander down to a pleasant flower-filled meadow where there were many more butterflies and dragonflies. I think that these are both Common Darters, although I’m not at all confident with dragonflies.

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And I’m guessing, thanks to an informative comment in a previous post, that this…

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….is a Turkey Oak acorn.

I watched a little drama unfold whilst I was photographing the dragonflies. A ladybird ran along the top bar of the fence, straight into the clutches of one of the Darters…

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Both are predators, but I feared for the ladybird in a quarrel. However, the dragonfly seemed quite perturbed by the ladybird, and after a cursory examination allowed it to continue on its way.

Oxburgh Hall