Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sunny patches

Many places are shaded (am I the only environementalist who feels that we may be planting too many trees?) but along the bypass there are glorious open banks of wild flowers, many sown when it was built. Sown or not (and most introducees, apart from the ineradicable Ox-Eye Daisies, usually die out fairly soon) they are all wonderful for colour. Today I found blue Meadow Cranesbill, a newly traffic-sown Common Mallow, and - to my surprise, a small clump of a new species for the Trail, the lovely yellow Imperforate St John's Wort. Sadly the dull weather meant few insects apart from Meadow Browns every metre of the way, and the odd brilliantly colourful red-and-black Cinnabar Moth. What fun to have a Creator who likes bright colours! - George

Summer birds

It's always difficult to see wildlife in summer when the foliage is thick. However, sneaking round the Trail with a camera I was able to get a close view of a hen Blackbird, clucking worriedly as she paused before feeing her young. Interestingly, my picture, when blown up, also showed what she was carrying - a couple of the black, spiny caterpillars of the Peacock butterfly, probably plucked from a colony of them in s a nearby sunny nettle patch. Other than that, few birds were actually insight today, although I could hear Long-tailed Tits at the pond, a Bullfinch near Waterworks Farm, singing Blackcaps, and even a Great Spotted Woodpecker - George