Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Not rare, just different

When conditions conspire against you.... it helps to have a back-up plan. And even then it helps to be able to appreciate your surroundings even if you can't find what you're looking for.

Even in lowering clouds over the South Downs on Lullington Heath where, surprise, no butterflies let alone Graylings were braving the misty gale, there were things to see.

The sward was spotted with Round-headed Rampion, and not far away was the clump of Sweet Scabious to admire. Moved on to another spot, tried hard to find a Brown Hairsteak. Not a sniff, even though the weather had improved by then, but still there were good things around. Just as I was idly thinking that Wild Parsnip is my favourite umbellifer (it passes the time).......
...I saw a wispy little plant that I've not noticed before. Sure enough, Spreading Hedge-Parsley is not a Kentish species. Very delicate.

Another day, another site..... Otmoor, Lewis Carroll's chess-board of fields which we helped to "save" in the '80s, when the planned M40 was eventually moved north of the wet meadows. I still own part of Alice's Meadow. Part is now owned or managed by the RSPB, and there is a huge new hide which is the height of luxury. Naturally, there was little to see as the early morning's waders had flown.

But don't give up, tucked away beside the path was Sneezewort, another new one on me.

Moving on to Noar Hill, a "reliable site for brown Hairstreaks" failed to live up to its billing. There were more butterfly hunters than butterflies.

Nil desperandum, there were lots of Autumn Gentians, including a handful of white ones.

Furthermore, as well as Nettle-leaved Bellflowers.......

.... there were Clustered Bellflowers, keeping their heads down unlike their cousins. Tick.
On one of the bellflowers was an interesting-looking bee, but I'm not going to hazard a guess.

Drove the night towards my home, by the seaside. The first Autumn Lady's-Tresses have popped up by the prom at Walmer, and they are reported in the usual blessed Kingsdown gardens.

And finally, just to remind myself of what butterflies look like, a textbook photo of Common Blues.

1 comment:

Greenie said...

Steve ,
I thought that was snow on the first shot . Beautiful flower the
RHR - 'Pride of Sussex' , their flower emblem .
Glad you caught up with Sneezewort.
Noar Hill USED to be reliable for BH , till they hacked down all the Blackthorn .
Really nice set of shots all through .