Saturday, 18 August 2012

Orlestone in the shade, and fun in the sun

Not complaining about the hot weather, especially since I live a stone's throw from the beach and the sea's lovely - but it's great to be in reach of shade in a cool forest sometimes.
Orlestone is a good place to be, as it has wide rides that are perfect for butterflies. And peacocks have emerged in profusion, feasting on knapweeds and hemp agrimony.

 A surprise was the large numbers of brimstones too, also on knapweed and ragwort but also (in the shade) on a swathe of betony.

Purple hairstreaks flitted about around the oaks, even descending reasonably low to give the closest views I've had (surprising to some readers perhaps, but there's not many oaks on the east coast and fewer purple hairstreaks). More obliging were white admirals, a fine compensation for the loss of purple emperors here.

 Nettle-leaved bellflowers are having a good year in the hedgerows around Hawkinge, lovely!

Another species doing well is the chalkhill blue, which was showing in relatively low numbers in the last two years, but are thriving this month. This web report on their numbers on the Friston Gallops near Eastbourne is worth a read, conservatively estimating numbers at around 800,000. I hope Lydden is doing as well.

 And finally,

there's a lot of good live music around locally at the moment, in the glorious sunny weather......
from the old (Kingsdown Band, and the Kinks) to the new (Gentlemen of Few), the stars on the rise (O'Hooley and Tidow) and some on the fall (sadly, Chumbawamba).    Dancing to folk music at ceilidhs, and to ska at Folkestone harbour -
 great stuff, catch it if you can.


Marc Heath said...

Great shots, I would love to photograph the Brimstone. I wonder where the nearest ones are to where I live in Broomfield? I never seem to see them around here.

NW Nature Nut said...

I just can't get over all the butterflies you have around. I get jealous and then I remember that I have hummingbirds :)

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