Downland Impressions

The long view of the downs is sharp greens and cobalt blues. Cold details are picked out by the evening sun across the sloping panorama.

The short view is warm, out of focus and welcoming. The orchids, buttercups and trefoils beneath a shower of quaking grass create an impressionist watercolour. The downs are an art gallery in June.

Then invertebrate sex rudely rears its soft abdomen; a female mint moth Pyrausta aurata flutters to rest on the underside of a leaf, extends her attractant gland to disperse her pheromones into the wind and waits to pull a sniffy male.

A common blue Polyommatus icarus sheltering in the waving sward is pretty but precarious. The heat of the sun wanes, the cool breeze runs across the slope from the south and the moon brightens in the darkening sky.



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