Lambert’s Meadow Kaleidoscope.

20200603_183519

Lambert’s Meadow.

P1290030

Black-tailed Skimmer, female.

P1290037

P1290031

Cantharis rustica – a soldier beetle.

P1290040

Common Blue Damselfly.

P1290041

Cheilosia chrysocoma (Golden Cheilosia) – two photos, I think of different insects on different Marsh Thistles. A hoverfly which, for some reason, has evolved to resemble a Tawny Mining Bee.

P1290066

P1290054

Four-spotted Chaser.

P1290062

Another hoverfly – possibly Helophilius pendulus.

P1290064

Bumblebee on Ragged Robin.

P1290068

Common Blue Damselfly, female – I think.

P1290072

Azure Damselfly.

P1290075

Water Avens – and another hoverfly?

P1290074

Heath Spotted -orchid.

P1290082

Another Common Blue Damselfly.

Just a short walk, but packed with interest. If the large blue and green dragonfly which was darting about had landed to be photographed too, my day would have been complete. It was an Emperor; large blue and green dragonflies which elude my camera are always Emperors. When they do land, they always somehow transform into Hawkers of one kind or another, lovely in their own right, but not Emperors. One day I’ll catch an Emperor in an unguarded moment.

In the meantime, the colours on offer at Lambert’s Meadow will do just fine.

Lambert’s Meadow Kaleidoscope.

The Kent Channel, A Farl, House Sparrows.

P1280806

Collared Dove on Cove Road.

20200530_164830

Back on the sands – you can see the grey ‘skin’ which starts to develop on the sand after several hot days with low tides.

20200530_170148

There were people paddling in the channel. Since then B and his friends have started visiting this part of the Bay on hot days for a swim – the water is barely deep enough I gather, but they are still very glad of it.

20200530_170156

In the distance – quite hard to pick out – a group spanning at least three generations had a number of long fishing poles propped up on tripods. B and his mates have also tried fishing here. They caught nothing. Fishing with good friends and catching nothing sounds like the best kind of fishing to me, but I never really caught the fishing bug. We’ve since heard that there are Sea Bass to be had down near Jenny Brown’s at high tide. B assures me that he’s not after Sea Bass, he’s holding out for shark apparently!

20200530_171125

Morecambe Bay may be the most beautiful bay in Britain. Thanks to the tides, it drains more or less completely twice a day. You can be standing on sand that a short while before was under thirty feet of water and vice versa. It’s the vice versa that you have to worry about because the tide comes back in very quickly, not in a line like an advancing army, but in fingerlets and channels that can easily surround you and catch you by surprise. People sometimes go for walks, then belatedly notice that they are on a giant, but steadily shrinking sandbar.

Bill Bryson again. He doesn’t really do lukewarm – he either loves it or hates it. Most beautiful? That’s a bit of a stretch. Sandwood Bay springs to mind as a contender, but I am very fond of Morecambe Bay obviously.

I’ve finished ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ and enjoyed as I always seem to with his books.

20200530_171406

The channel had connected with the Kent and was now much further out from the shore.  Above you can see the now dry channel where it formerly ran.

After a couple of very thirsty walks, I’ve taken to carrying a rucksack on my longer local walks, so I can carry a drink. It’s also convenient to stow my camera away there too, which is all very well, until I want to capture a moment quickly. So these Brimstone butterflies…

20200530_172407

…which were disporting themselves on some Dame’s-violet had to be photographed with my phone. Not entirely satisfactory, but you can see the strong contrast between the buttery yellow male and the much paler female.

When I was wondering about whether or not the House Sparrows in our hedge would nest or not, I was completely forgetting the early morning racket we hear in our bedroom every summer. I’m not quite sure how I managed to forget that cacophony. Even though our house is pretty modern, in each corner of the roof there’s a tiny hole up under the eaves. At least two of them were occupied this year. This male…

P1280817

…is just pausing during a prolonged concerto of chirruping.

I’ve continued to make bread every couple of days, but not to take photographs. I made an exception for this one, because I hadn’t made a loaf like this before, a farl apparently…

P1280819

Turned out rather well and has become a bit of a favourite.

20200531_143902

TBH admiring the Ox-eye daisies on Cove Road.

20200531_144641

Another wander on the sands. This is the day after the previous walk.

20200531_145144

More sun-seekers. Our neighbour told me that many had driven up from Liverpool.

20200531_150317

Red Valerian outside the Silverdale Hotel.

20200531_172736

More amorous butterflies, once again photographed using my phone, this time Small Tortoiseshells.

The Kent Channel, A Farl, House Sparrows.

Off-comers and Invertebrates

20200529_130456

Since Whit week, whenever the sun has shone, we’ve witnessed the strange phenomena of people sun-bathing on the sands. I know I’m an advocate of our bay, but it isn’t a beach in a conventional sense, since it is more mud than sand. It was actually much busier than this photo suggests, but one thing the bay has going for it is that there is lots of room to spread out. We have also seen people way out, paddling in the sea, much further out than I would ever venture without a guide. Don’t they remember the horrific accident with the cockle-pickers?

My wander down to the beach was a precursor to another trip to gait Barrows.

P1280790

I sat on the path and took no end of photos of this tiny butterfly. I suspect that it’s a Northern Brown Argus, but I couldn’t swear to it.

P1280792

Equally, I think that this is an Azure Damselfly, but wouldn’t put up a fight if you contradicted me.

P1280793

This, however, is a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary. I think I’ve seen more of them this year than in previous years put together, although that’s not saying  a great deal, since my previous sightings have been few and far between.

P1280794

P1280803

Finally, a blue-tailed Damselfly.

Off-comers and Invertebrates

More Butterflies and Wild Celery

P1280595

Orange-tip butterfly on Dame’s Violet.

P1280596

P1280598

P1280599

As you can see, I was quite taken with the combination of a male Orange-tip and the Dame’s Violet flowers. Ii was Whitsun half-term and I was on my way to Trowbarrow Quarry to look for Fly Orchids. It has become something of an annual ritual – every year I go to look for them and every year I fail to find them. This year I had a good excuse, because apparently, due to the exceptionally dry spring, Fly Orchids were only very short this year. And they’re pretty hard to spot at the best of times. Well, they must be – I’ve never found any anyway.

P1280605

Green-ribbed Sedge again? Maybe.

P1280613

Broad-bodied Chaser.

I’m not sure whether Broad-bodied Chasers are the most common dragonflies in the area, or just the easiest to spot and photograph because of their habit of perching on the end of a stem like this. This is almost certainly a female – males begin their adult life yellow, but rapidly turn blue.

P1280620

B had warned me that Trowbarrow would be busy. He wasn’t wrong. The photo doesn’t really show the extent of it because there are plenty of hidden corners here, and a lot of the visitors were climbers on so out of sight on the quarry-face above. There were lots of picnickers, families on bikes and the afore-mentioned climbers. All seemed to be managing to enjoy the sunshine whilst maintaining sensible distancing. Still, it was a bit of a surprise after it had been pretty quiet for so long.

P1280627

Female Common Blue butterflies and Northern Brown Argus are very similar to each other. Both should have orange spots around the edge of their wings, which were lacking in this case…

P1280629

After consulting this excellent guide, I had decided that this was a Northern Brown Argus, because the long thin body suggests that this is a male and also because of a missing ocellus on the underside of the upperwing. But then I saw a photo of an almost identical butterfly labelled, by someone who I think knows better than I do, as a female Common Blue. So…..I’m not sure!

P1280633

Rock Rose.

P1280640

Male Common Blue – no such confusion.

P1280649

P1280651

Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

P1280662

Common Twayblade. 

If I didn’t find any Fly Orchids, I did at least come across  some Common Twayblade, growing very tall and apparently defying the dry conditions.

20200527_143936

It was a hot day and the sheep had the right idea.

P1280677

Guelder Rose in the hedge on Lambert’s Meadow.

P1280685

Wild Celery near Jenny Brown’s Point.

P1280680

I think this is the plant from which both celery and celeriac were cultivated, but is not one for the forager since it is toxic. The same is true, apparently, of wild almonds. I’m always intrigued by how our ancestors could have managed to domesticate poisonous plants. Why would you even try, from such unpromising beginnings?

P1280682

P1280686

Quicksand Pool.


For no better reason than that I’ve been listening to reggae all day whilst working, three favourites of the genre…

‘Street 66’ by Linton Kwesi Johnson

‘Funky Kingston’ by Toots and the Maytals.

‘This Train’ by Bunny Wailer.

More Butterflies and Wild Celery

Heathwaite with A

P1280581

A lovely walk with A, around Heathwaite, where the Oxeye Daisies were putting on a display, and up the Knott.

P1280584

Aquilegias are abundant in our garden, but usually more elusive in the wild, but one part  of Heathwaite had a small area with several plants. It’s odd how the stems droop whilst flowering, but then straighten up when the seed-heads develop.

P1280582

This is yet another poisonous plant, with the roots and seeds potentially being fatal if ingested.

P1280585

And yet they look so innocent!

P1280588

The Forest of Bowland and the Bay from Heathwaite.

P1280591

Lakeland Fells from the Knott.

20200526_160642

Kent Estuary pano.

P1280592

Female Green-veined White butterfly on an Oxeye Daisy.

P1280594

And on an actual Daisy. (It hadn’t suddenly grown!)


With A back at school for the first time today and B returning later in the week, this old favourite seemed appropriate…

I’ve only discovered this week that a good part of my enjoyment of that tune comes from the sample from this Ike Turner instrumental…

Heathwaite with A

Firsts

P1280440

I swear, these magpies were sunbathing. I’d barely left the house, and was heading into the ginnel which would take me to Town’sfield and there they were, sunning themselves on the wall. It was then that I realised that I’d left my camera’s battery and memory card at home. But even after I’d been back to retrieve them, the magpies were still chilling out on the wall.

P1280449

Naively, I thought this large and distinctive beetle might be easy to identify. But no. I think that it’s probably a member of the Silphidae family, but beyond that, I can’t decide. On the plus side, I did discover the excellent UK Beetles website and have just spent a half hour or so reading about beetles which bury dead birds and others which prey on snails.

P1280450

There’s a fair few insects in this post, some of them difficult to identify; not so this one…

P1280459

…my first dragonfly of this summer and my first ever Four-spotted Chaser. The British Dragonfly Society website tells me that this species is common throughout the UK, so I’m not sure how they have eluded me for so long.

Of course, once I’d seen one, I spotted another about five minutes later…

P1280477

…and I’ve seen more since.

There were lots of damselflies about too. They’re a bit tricky to distinguish between, but I think that these first two…

P1280464

..are Small Red-eyed Damselflies. Their eyes are not as vividly red as I would expect, but then again, they definitely aren’t blue either and they have anti-humeral stripes on their thoraxes which aren’t present in the very similar Red-eyed Damselfly.

P1280469

This is another first, in a way, because I have seen this species before, but never in this area.

P1280496

One principal way to recognise blue damselflies, of which there are several species, is by the mark on the second segment of their abdomen. By that token, I think that this is a female Variable Damselfly, another first for me.

P1280546

And, finally, this is a more familiar Common Blue Damselfly, again, identified by the shape of the mark on the second segment.

P1280466

I was struck by the rather face-like shape of this large limestone boulder.

P1280480

I’ve come to the conclusion that grasses, sedges and the like are impossible to get to grips with, for me at least. This is a sedge, a female flower and part of the male flower at the top of the stem. I wish I knew more. Possibly Green-ribbed Sedge? I thought the female flower was pretty striking.

P1280488

A Dingy Skipper.

P1280493

Hoverflies too are very difficult to figure out. It’s a shame; there are around 250 species in the UK and many of them are very striking, but also very similar to each other.

P1280499

This distinctive leaf beetle is Cryptocephalus bipunctatus, which is another first for me, not surprisingly, since it is scarce in the UK.

P1280502

I’ve photographed this dapper hoverfly before, but not been able to identify it, despite the striking shiny golden thorax. Now, I think I may have tracked it down; it is, perhaps, Platycheirus fulviventris. It’s a shame it didn’t open its wings, because, if I’m right, it also has a pleasing black and yellow pattern on its abdomen.

P1280505

P1280524

Another Dingy Skipper on Bird’s-foot Trefoil.

P1280542

P1280543

I’d been wandering around Gait Barrows, making my way to the cordoned off area, hoping to see a Duke of Burgundy butterfly. I didn’t.

P1280547

But I did see this, which I think is a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

P1280554

I only hesitate because distinguishing this from the very similar Pearl-bordered Fritillary is best done by looking at the underside of the wings, but the sun shining through the wings here, nice though it is, has obscured some of the colours slightly.

P1280555

None-the-less, I am reasonably confident, especially looking again at this last photo.

P1280562

This looks like another place where fencing has been removed – or is this new material waiting to go up?

P1280564

What I think is a Dark Red Helleborine with nascent flowers, which have since been eaten.

P1280567

Gait Barrows Limestone Pavement.

P1280568

Bloody Crane’s-bill.

P1280571

Angular Solomon’s-seal.

P1280575

P1280580

Cirrocumulus?

20200525_181619

Finally, on Moss Lane, some Alexanders. I’ve previously seen this growing in Cornwall and on the Yorkshire coast, but not here, so another first of a sort.

All of that in one walk and a good chat with a friend from the village I hadn’t seen for a while. How’s that?

Most of it was undertaken at snail’s pace. A bit like putting this post together! Both the walk and the research were highly enjoyable though.


Only one song springs to mind here…

Who was best Blur or Oasis?

Answer: Pulp.

Firsts

Step Right Up!

20200522_172425

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!

And blow, blow they certainly did. We’re well acquainted with Atlantic storms up here in the North Wet, but we don’t often get really severe winds in the summer when the trees are in their summery finery. TBH warned me not to go down to the beach, so, of course, curiosity got the better of me and I had to go and take a look. And after I’d had a look, I abandoned any thought I’d entertained of heading out onto the sands, turned tail and sort the shelter of the woods. The woodland floor was carpeted with leaves and twigs, but it was still relatively sheltered in there.

Which begs the question, why did I venture out of the woods and across the fields by Black Dyke? I don’t remember, but I do remember that it was more than a bit draughty, was spitting with rain and that dark clouds seemed to be threatening worse to come.

Goldfinches seem to be almost ubiquitous these days; I watched a family of half a dozen flitting back and forth between an ash tree on the edge of the woods and the electric fence. I guess they were impervious because they weren’t earthed?

P1280362

P1280367

Black Dyke.

P1280373

The footbridge over Leighton Beck – not much water running under it.

P1280374

Middlebarrow and Arnside Tower from the far side of Silverdale Moss.

P1280383

I’ve made many visits to Lambert’s Meadow this year. It seems to be a very fruitful spot for insect photos, particularly in the vicinity of this sprawling guelder rose hedge.

P1280389

Green-veined white butterfly.

P1280404

P1280407

Marsh thistle. I think.

P1280406

The first I’d seen flowering this year.

P1280412

I thought they looked rather fine and this early bumblebee liked them too.

P1280415

P1280408

Red campion. Is pink. Why not pink campion?

P1280436

Sorrel.

20200524_132735

The Jubilee Wood car-park on the edge of Eaves Wood. Until a day or two before this photo was taken, the car park had been closed and roped off, but here it is open and fairly busy again, reflecting the beginning of the easing of the lockdown restrictions. (This is from about a week before the end of May.)


Tunes – today amusing songs which are also great to listen too in their own right. First up…

‘Here Come the Judge’ by Pigmeat Markham

Allegedly, the first rap record, from 1968.

Then, ‘Werewolves of London’ by Warren Zevon. This one brings back happy memories of howling along with the kids in the car. This was before the boys started laughing at my musical tastes, listening to grime and opening conversations with barely articulated Caribbean slang like, ‘Wagwan fam?’

The next is a song I’ve only recently come across, ‘Sharon’ by David Bromberg.

What those three all have in common, is that they are the only songs I know by each of the artists. To finish, here’s a song by someone who, by contrast, I’ve followed since discovering great songs like this when I was at school, way back when…

That’s so clever.

Can’t help thinking I’m spoiling you here! What else should I have included? ‘Funky Gibbon’? ‘The Streak’? ‘Shut Up’ by Madness? These are all pretty old songs, I’m obviously missing some more recent possibilities.

Step Right Up!

Songs of Solomon

P1280321

Gait Barrows Meadow.

My obsession with the Bay was at least partially superseded by a similar compulsion to keep paying return trips to Gait Barrows; partly in an attempt to spot the rare butterflies which can be seen there, but in the summer Gait Barrows has plenty of other attractions.

P1280320

Yellow rattle.

P1280326

Limestone pavement.

Although there are some large open areas of limestone pavement, much of it is wooded and then there are other areas which are partially wooded. It’s quite easy to get a bit lost wandering around in this terrain, and also quite scratched as you forge a route through the generally thorny scrub between adjacent islands of open pavement. Great fun to explore though.

P1280327

Azure damselfly.

P1280330

Dingy skipper.

P1280334

More limestone pavement.

I was looking for some particular plants known to grow in the grykes here, but I was also amazed by the sheer variety of plants which obviously thrive in this rather unpromising looking habitat. A wide selection of native trees and shrubs grow in the grykes and all sorts of flowers and ferns.

P1280331

Hart’s tongue fern.

Although I was hoping for butterflies, what I was actually looking for was this…

P1280335

Angular Solomon’s-seal.

Related to, but distinctly different from, Solomon’s-seal and rarer too. I hadn’t seen it before, but had seen photos the day before on Faceache, drawing attention to the fact that it was currently flowering in the grykes at Gait Barrows.

It’s an odd-name Solomon’s-seal isn’t it? I got to wondering what the connection might be between an Old Testament King (and poet) and this plant. My trusty ‘Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain’, has this…

No one knows for certain why Solomon’s-seal is so called. One explanation is that the circular scars on the underground rooting stem, left by the withered flowering shoots of previous years, resemble document seals. Another theory is that the name arose because of the medicinal value of the plant in ‘sealing’ wounds and broken bones. A poultice made from its powdered roots has also been used to cure black eyes and other bruises. The biblical King Solomon himself was traditionally said to have approved this use.

Meanwhile the marvellous ‘Wildflower Finder’ website adds:

Quinine has been discovered only recently to be a secondary metabolite of several Solomons Seals.

So there’s another potential medicinal use, but I should warn you, if you’re worried about malaria, that metabolising Solomon’s-seals is not advised since the plant is toxic.

P1280340

Elderflower.

A fortnight later, I remembered seeing elders in flower on the pavement at Gait barrows, but misremembered the details, so that when TBH wanted flowers to make cordial I was boasting that I knew where I could lay my hands on ‘loads’, a claim which transpired to be very wide of the mark. But more on that in a future post no doubt.

P1280343

Yet more limestone pavement.

P1280344

Dark red helleborine?

I’ve been fanatically returning, again and again, to three tiny plants which I think are dark red helleborine, trying to ensure that this year I actually see them when they are flowering, and not just after, which usually seems to be the case. Frustratingly, on each visit they don’t seem to have progressed at all, with no extra growth and no sign of flowers beyond a feathery stalk…

P1280346

…which, to add insult to injury, something has eaten since I took these pictures.

P1280348

Cinnabar moth.

P1280349

This path, away from the way-marked nature trail around the nature reserve, is one I’ve wanted to explore for years, I don’t know what it was that made me feel emboldened to go and explore on this occasion. I found that the areas around the path were cordoned off with signs explaining that this was to protect the Duke of Burgundy butterflies during the breeding season. These were exactly the butterflies that I’d come looking for, but I didn’t see any on this or any subsequent visit.

P1280353

A hoverfly – rhingia campestris. It’s not often I can identify a hoverfly with any degree of confidence, but this one has a prominent snout, just about visible in the photo.

P1280354

Unfurling bracken.

P1280357

Another dark red helleborine?

P1280358

Rodent – field mouse?

Most unusual to see rodents wandering about in broad daylight, but this was the second I’d seen that day and in both cases they didn’t just disappear, but scampered about, dipping into holes, but then reappearing again shortly.

During recent visits to Gait Barrows, I’ve seen tawny owls flying in broad daylight on four occasions, including twice today. I’ve also heard the owls calling, all of which seems unusual. I was never fast enough to get even a sniff of a photo, but it was wonderful to see them anyway. I guess there’s a nest there’s somewhere.


Following on from my last post, and perhaps appropriately for a post which, even obliquely, references the raunchy ‘Song of Solomon’, some versions of ‘Whole Lotta Love’.

First, the original:

Readers of a certain age will remember the Top of the Pops theme, recorded by Collective Consciousness Society, I know I do.

Whisper it, but I’m not especially fond of Tina Turner’s slow-burn cover, but I do like The Dynamics’ reggae version:

The version I’ve listened to most, over the years, is this one…

…by King Curtis and the Kingpins. Marvellous, especially the last 45 seconds or so.

The vocal delivery and lyrics on this song…

‘You Need Loving’ by the Small Faces, ‘influenced’ Robert Plant and because it was a cover of Muddy Waters ‘You Need Love’…

…written by the inestimable Willie Dixon, Dixon eventually got a writing credit on “Whole Lotta Love’. If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best. Now…Willie Dixon songs…..

Songs of Solomon

Trampled Underfoot

P1280188

We had a succession of misty mornings. Generally, I was too slothful to be out for a walk early enough to capture them in photographs. I saw an amazing drone shot, on Faceache, which showed the very top of Arnside Knott poking above a sea of mist. To be up there then would have been amazing. Next time!

P1280208

Here’s the same view without the mist.

P1280192

I had another go at photographing the many bees on our cotoneaster; this time, the sun was shining and the results we’re much more satisfactory. I think that this is a honey bee.

P1280203

Whilst this is an early bumblebee. There were red-tailed bumblebees and tree bumblebees too, but they proved to be more elusive on this occasion.

Whilst the cotoneaster was highly popular, the bees weren’t completely ignoring the other flowers nearby.

P1280201

I assume that this is a common carder bee, although the ginger hairs on its legs are confusing me a little and the flowers, although they are growing in our garden, look very like Druce’s crane’s-bill on the wildflowerfinder website, a cross between french crane’s-bill and pencilled crane’s-bill.

P1280210

Red valerian had begun flowering on stony verges, dry-stone walls and limestone cliffs. It’s an introduced plant, originating in the Mediterranean, but seemingly very much at home here. In fact, the flowers can be pink or white as well as red. The bees seem to like it as much as I do.

P1280213

I spent an age trying to get a clear photo of this little bee, and I’m glad now that I did; I think that this is a red mason bee, which makes it a new one to me and so very pleasing.

P1280216

P1280218

Wintercress again, with quite distinctive, shiny leaves…

P1280217

P1280219

Green-veined white butterfly.

P1280226

These rabbit kits were looking very chilled. But there was an adult on sentry duty nearby…

P1280249

P1280229

In flight, this butterfly was so pale that I thought I was looking at some sort of white, but the underside of the wings, as much green as yellow, and their distinctive shape, reveal that this is actually a female brimstone

P1280240

P1280236

Common carder bee.

P1280247

A very ragged peacock butterfly.

P1280248

Another ‘new’ perspective on Hawes Water.

P1280251

Brown silver-line moth.

P1280256

As yet unidentified micro-moth.

P1280259

And yet another ‘new’ perspective on Hawes Water.

P1280267

Small heath butterfly.

I think of small heath butterflies as my companions on my summer evening post-work wanders, but I’ve never seen one close to home before.

P1280282

I took a few photographs of the small heath, I suppose I was fairly motionless for a while, so much so that this blue-tailed damselfly seemed to think that I was part of the furniture and landed on my sock. Quite tricky to get a photo!

P1280291

Lily-of-the-valley.

P1280292

Biting stonecrop, almost flowering.

P1280296

It was a shame I couldn’t get a better angle for a photo of this speckled yellow moth, it’s colour was lovely.

P1280310

Foxglove pug moth, possibly.

P1280315

Star of Bethlehem, in the hedge-bottom, Moss Lane.

P1280316

As I walked back into the village from Gait Barrows, there were roe deer in the fields either side of the road.

P1280318


After sharing a song by the band Trampled Underfoot, I thought I would post the song of the same name. I heard this on Radio 6 a few months ago and was quite taken aback; I’m only familiar with the most obvious and well-known Led Zep tracks and was surprised by how funky this sounded. Now I obviously need to trawl through their back catalogue in search of more gems. So many songs to listen to!

Trampled Underfoot

Who’ll Stop The Rain?

P1280096

Male house sparrow – with nesting material? – on the wall by the ginnel to Townsfield. 

The photos in this post are drawn from walks on several consecutive days, which were obviously a bit gloomy, judging by the photos.

P1280101

Oxeye daisy.

Never mind, there always plenty to see none-the-less.

P1280107

Speckled wood butterfly.

P1280109

Germander speedwell.

P1280113

I thought this might be creeping jenny, but it’s not, it’s the very similar, and related, yellow pimpernel.

P1280114

Which I found flowering on the margin between woods and grassland on Heathwaite. I was on my way up the Knott.

I’ve walked past this gateway many times recently and thought that maybe I’d never been through it.

P1280117

This time I tried it and discovered a path which I don’t think I’ve walked before. It runs parallel to other paths I have walked and wasn’t really significantly different to those, but I was still pleased to find a route which was new to me.

P1280119

The views were a bit limited, the lakeland hills being shrouded in low cloud, but Cartmel Fell, running up to Gummer How was clear, as was Whitbarrow Scar.

P1280120

And there’s always the Bay to admire.

P1280127

Lady’s mantle displaying the recent rain.

P1280130

P1280140

The Bay from the Cove.

P1280142

Sea radish.

P1280149

Blackbird – sometimes blackbirds can be quite bold, this one didn’t seem at all bothered by my interest.

P1280153

Surprised by movement in a puddle on a path, I looked down to see this fairly large black beetle. It was swimming quite proficiently, but I couldn’t work out why any kind of water beetle would be in a puddle quite a way from any open water on the one hand, or what any other kind of beetle would be doing swimming at all on the other. I suppose I should have fished it out to have a closer look.

P1280156

Salad burnet. 

P1280161

Lady’s mantle again.

P1280166

Bird’s-eye primrose by Hawes Water.

P1280171

P1280174

Gloucester Old Spot pig.

Sadly, the farm at Hawes Villa is going to close. Apparently they’ve lost the battle for planning permission for the yurts on their campsite and without the extra income that brings in the farm is not profitable. A great shame for the family and the village and that the conservation breeding programme has come to an end. On a personal note, we filled a freezer with pork from the farm and it was great to be able to buy local produce from a source that we could see with our own eyes was genuinely free range with excellent welfare.

P1280180

Just missed the sunset from Jack Scout. Again.

Oxeye daisy, germander speedwell, creeping jenny, yellow pimpernel, lady’s mantle, bird’s-eye primrose, sea radish – don’t our wildflowers have great names? The lady’s mantles pictured above are, I suspect, one of the garden varieties, which self seed freely and so have become naturalised. The latin name is Alchemilla mollis which I think also has something of a ring to it; Alchemilla from alchemy, because of the supposed herbal benefits of the plant.


After yesterday’s post with four songs all covered by one singer, todays I’ve gone for almost the opposite: covers of songs all originally performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

‘As Long As I Can See The Light’ by the incomparable Ted Hawkins

‘Proud Mary’ by Solomon Burke. I think the version by Ike and Tina Turner is better known; I believe it was Solomon Burke who suggested they should cover the song.

‘Born on the Bayou’ by Trampled Underfoot.

‘Lodi’ Dan Penn

‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ Dwight Yoakam

‘Wrote A Song for Everyone’ Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy (if the name sounds familiar, he’s from the great band ‘Wilco’).

Hmmm. Got a bit carried away there. If you’re a big fan of Creedence, and I am, you might argue that none of them are a patch on the originals. I’m not sure, but I think there’s some good stuff here. Do you have a favourite – I’m struggling?

Who’ll Stop The Rain?