All posts tagged: butterflies

Fackenden in July

Six hobbies hunt insects across the long slope of the down under grey clouds on a warm, humid evening. A sparrowhawk rushes to the woodland with hurried flaps and glides and the evening turns to a quiet dusk. A male yellowhammer sits on the top […]

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Summer days at Bois Jarzeau

The heat of the past few days brings dark thunderstorms that travel up from the south over the wooded hills to the west, then switch direction, run up the Vallée de la Tude, and deluge the ground. The humidity immediately drops and the cool, clear air is cleaned […]

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Pech Bely in late May

The land is dry, the barley fields are high and field margins and fallows full of colourful plants. The vines are putting on their light green leaf. A distant woodlark sings its fluting song in the cloudless dawn, later joined by a weeping tree pipit, […]

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Fackenden Views

The cold air of mid April sweeps the down but the sun warms the sheltered pockets behind dense thickets of dogwood, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, bramble and whitebeam topped by fresh strands of clematis and honeysuckle. The whitebeam is coming into leaf and trees are lit with […]

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Autumn Blues

The view above the Darenth near Shoreham is fields of autumnal brown. The small nature reserve of White Hill, slivers of chalk grassland hidden within dense yew Taxus baccata and beech Fagus sylvatica woods and ever-encroaching dogwood Cornus sanguinea and whitebeam Sorbus aria scrub, is brightly lit by the evening […]

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Lullington Heath

The old village of Alfriston sits on the river Cuckmere and tries in vain to soak up the throttling stream of tourists within its narrow, high street. The South Downs Way also passes through and rises from the valley just to the south in the […]

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Shipton Bellinger’s Browns

6th August 2016 Shipton Bellinger, a village on the southeastern corner of Salisbury Plain is a well known site to see brown hairstreaks Thecla betulae. This is an August flying species that is always local and confined to discrete areas of southern England and south Wales. Ancient byways to […]

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Bernwood Forest

19th July, 2016 Bernwood Forest is one of the great butterfly woodlands of England. The forest today is much altered; a great dark window in the heart of Oxfordshire with irregular panes of dull softwood supported by thin hardwood frames. Early morning on the hottest day of the year […]

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Dene Park’s Admirals and Emperors

The car park on the edge of the woodland is full mainly with dog walkers but also butterfly watchers. The two groups have an interesting relationship; the latter are highly dependent on the irresponsibility of the former but, of course, not vice versa… The purple emperor Apatura iris male is […]

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Lullingstone Park

The long walk up from the old, red brick manor house at Lullingstone, now promoted to a castle, leads to neatly mown paths through chalk grasslands that cushion wide fairways and greens. The meadows are rich in yellow and white flowers: bedstraws, trefoils, fading oxeye daisies Leucanthemum vulgare, patches of yellow […]

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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 […]

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