Wednesday, 3 August 2011

High Summer in Vinehall Forest

So it is for glorious days like these we patiently wait though the cold winter months.

Today it sizzled in Barnes Wood. The hot midday sun beat down upon the rides as oppressively as a medieval despot, and the baked and parched stones radiated heat back as if they themselves would ferment into insurrection.

But some like it hot, and many of them are invertebrates.

I recorded my first Brimstone butterfly for a long while. I saw this one nectaring on some thistle. {Double click to enlarge image.}
Bees and hoverflies were busy among the ragwort and fleabane. I believe the hoverfly is Myathropa florae, or a similar species. These hoverflies are woodland specialists.

I couldn’t identify the little bumblebee here, but her pollen baskets were filled to capacity with bright orange pollen.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with bramble, but one has to admire its resilience. Come torrents or drought it thrives and flourishes, talk about give it an inch!
Here a gatekeeper sits upon a bramble leaf, lord of all it surveys.

Here is another plant I like, Wild Angelica, its purple stems and distinctive leaves make it an easy ID among the umbellifers.

Now, I am the first to admit I am not the world’s best photographer, but every now and then, by sheer good fortune, I get lucky. So this is probably my best butterfly photo, like, ever!
I’m going to dine out on this one for a while. {Please click to enlarge my ego!}

Look at those patterns and colours!

Right, back to the world as it should be, one of my usual standard snaps of a Silver-washed Fritillary. Shame really, as this photograph does not do justice to what is a truly magnificent insect.
At least the "silver wash" can be seen.

Love it or loath it, Rosebay Willowherb has become an iconic plant of our local woodland rides. I love watching the battalions of seeds drift across the rides on a hot summer’s day.

It is good to see woodland utilized and productive.

Finally, a Speckled Wood butterfly basking in the sun; their numbers have increased lately. I have seen so few this year compared to other years.

With heartfelt thanks to Peter Coyston who helped us with the Moth Traps last night and who reminded me it was high time to update this blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment