Heybridge Basin

16th July 2019 A warm July evening with a light breeze is made for a pint at the Old Ship overlooking the great expanse of water and mud that is the Blackwater Estuary. The pub sits at the of a pretty terrace of small fishermen’s houses and overlooks the sea lock that, at low tide,Continue reading “Heybridge Basin”

Benfleet Letters

Today the cloud is over the and temperature down after the heatwave of the past few days but the wind is away and butterflies are on the wing low in the rides on the rich array of flowering plants. The ubiquitous butterflies fill the colourful rides; meadow browns, ringlets, three species of whites, peacock andContinue reading “Benfleet Letters”

South Downs Dawn

The dawn is cold and the east wind adds an edge. A corn bunting sings from a fence post and then flies its fat body on short wings with legs dangling low over the tall meadow to drop into a well-hidden nest of woven grass. A yellowhammer adds another familiar rhythm from the top ofContinue reading “South Downs Dawn”

July’s butterflies

In grassland fields near Theydon Bois in Essex, huge veteran oaks and long defunct hedgerows of blackthorn, bramble and elm play host to little owls, woodpeckers and flocks of young blue and great tits and the July butterflies are abundant. One of the old oaks has a single purple hairstreak looking old and worn butContinue reading “July’s butterflies”

Leiosoma troglodytes lives on

My old friend Adrian Fowles wrote recently from Ynys Môn after a week’s holiday (well, as a National Weevil Recorder it was a weevil hunt) on the downs and woodlands of East Kent, which included a day out together in the great swathe of woodlands at Denge near Chilham… The Denge weevil was indeed Leiosoma troglodytes, whichContinue reading “Leiosoma troglodytes lives on”

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 galleryContinue reading “Downland Impressions”