Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Flight behaviour


I read CJ's post with interest yesterday. She wrote about the come down she was feeling after her holiday. I certainly felt the same this morning, as I came back down to earth with a bump. It was aided and abetted by the daily loggerhead with Alfie. The weekend already seems so far away.

I really didn't want to do the mundane this morning. I knew that I should clean the bathrooms, cut the grass, go to the supermarket and generally get the house into order. But I really couldn't be bothered. So I assigned myself just two jobs; ironing and unblocking the upstairs loo. I figured that I deserved some time out after they were completed, and so I proposed to Olly that we go butterfly spotting. With the dogs. And some chocolate and a juice box. He jumped at the chance. Well wouldn't you?




I have documented the walk we took before, but it's always different. The foxgloves are all but over, the flowers climb further up the stem and are replaced with soft green seed pods. The blackberry bushes are unfurling their pink and white flowers, which are enjoyed by many different pollinators. In fact the sound of buzzing and the amount of flying insects was quite amazing.. The pink campion are still in flower, but their seed pods are mature. We rattled them and Olly enjoyed scattering the seed. Different types of grasses are abundant now, and it enveloped us as we walked down the path towards the cliffs.

There were a great many orange beetles crawling all over the hogweed. At least I think that's what it was. It is similar to cow parsley, although it's chunkier and less wafty. I think there may have been angelica too, but my plant identification is still scant. I did see scabious and kidney vetch growing out of the ancient Cornish hedges that border the fields. Along with thistles and yellow flowers which are all lumped together as dandelions, even though they obviously aren't. I thought afterwards that I should take close ups of all of these, and identify them later. I have a book.





There were butterflies. They were everywhere in fact, and very busy they were too. An abundance of Red Admirals flitting here and there, barely pausing for breath. We spotted Speckled Woods and Gatekeepers, Meadow Browns and what may have been either a painted lady or a larger fritillary. They were too quick for me to photograph, and Olly and the dogs were impatient to keep moving. We also disturbed quite a few day flying moths. White with black speckles. At least I think they may be moths. I need to ask my moth and butterfly guru, CT.






The weather turned as we walked, and spots of rain turned into a rather heavy downpour. Olly insisted that I carry him back to the start of the footpath. He really is too big to carry for any long distance, but I obliged. Time is short with this one. I shall miss our ambling walks together when he starts school in September. Who will I be able to point things out to. Who else will enjoy shaking the campion seed pods or playing the "tree in the summer" game with the grasses? Who will laugh at the daft orange bugs with me, and watch the farmer and his dog herd the cattle from one field into another?

As usual I am writing this post after I have put Pops to bed. It's been mayhem here this afternoon. Lots of teenage hideousness that I won't bore you with. Suffice to say I am frazzled. If it's another fine day tomorrow, I am returning to the hedgerows. I shall record the plants and try capture the butterflies. I think that may help to strengthen my resolve and my nerves for life here.

Leanne xx





13 comments:

  1. Hi Leanne. Ironing and unblocking the loo sounds like more than I could cope with on a single day. Butterfly spotting is so much more fun and good for the soul. Definitely the activity of choice to deal with cranky teenagers. Have fun on your walk tomorrow. Christina xx

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  2. I agree with Christina, you shouldn't iron and unblock loos on the same day. You've made me long for August when I shall be able to wander down lovely Cornish lanes.

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  3. going for a walk is how I escape from the frazzle in my life. it always works whilst I am out, and sometimes for a little while afterwards..... take care xxx

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  4. Thanks for the mention Leanne. I had a day with absolutely no energy today as well. So much to do, but no inclination at all to do any of it. I'd have happily gone butterfly hunting with chocolate and a juice box. You have reminded me so much of when my littlest one was in the last stages of pre-school. I still maintain they shouldn't go to school until they're 7. I hope you have a nice wander tomorrow as well. I shall go to the allotment and absorb some of the peace there. CJ xx

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  5. I'm glad you gave yourself permission to go out and look at the butterflies. It sounds like you needed it. Your photos are wonderful, I feel like I got the chance to go too.

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  6. If I had unblocked the loo that would have been enough for one day, so I definitely would have joined you on the walk after that task had been completed. I must do the ironing............ xx

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  7. I like the sound of being a guru :-) (not sure I can live up to it though). White moths with black speckles...hmm, there are several. If they were small then the bird cherry ermine springs to mind, if a bit fluffy it could have been a white ermine, another possibility is argent and sable, but it's a bit late for them now. Other possibilities are black arches or clouded border.
    I think your orange beetles might be soldier beetles- there are lots around at this time of year and they love umbellifers.Yellow dandelion-like flowers are likely to be Hawk's-beard, Hawkbit or Cat's-ear. There are some really good wildflower apps that have simple keys which allow you to work out what a flower is from petal shape, size, colour and leaf position etc. I use them quite a lot when out walking. If you can get a picture then ispot is a fantastic resource for citizen science- you usually get an id back within minutes.
    Love the fact you downed tools re housework (although I also think loo unblocking and ironing is too much in one day). My kids flatly refuse to come out butterfly hunting, but I enjoy it more when it's just me and the peacefulness is therefore intact!! xx

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    1. I think it was a Clouded Border. I shall install that app on my phone when it has been fixed.
      Leanne xx

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  8. It's a necessity to break the routine every now and then and to leave the to-do list for what it is. I imagine you needed the break; sounds like you've got a lot going on there.

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  9. I hear you!! I've had a week of feeling like this - so much on my to do list, and very little gratuitously ticked off! It's almost like I know the summer holidays are coming and I'm setting myself up for failure - I now need to get those jobs done before term ends tuesday week!!!! Argh. Cornish hedgerows are my favourites though - glad you have this refuge to enjoy! J9 x

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  10. Yay it's the weekend...again! Love your foxgloves.

    Nina x

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  11. We havent had many butterflies in our garden this year, nor have I seen many as I have been walking around. I wonder if there arent as many for some reason or if I am just not seeing them. I hope you enjoy the summer holidays, you are in a perfect spot, I do envy you the seaside Leanne.We are off to Kent in a couple of weeks and Im hoping to spend lots of time by the sea.

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  12. You did the right thing. The chores will still be there tomorrow but sometimes you just have to seize the day, and what a beautiful summery walk it was. Making memories for you and Pops. x

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