Yesterday we had a beautiful sunny day in our little corner of Dorset, so I took myself off for a walk with my camera.
In the lane I spotted a few Brimstone Butterflies, who were fluttering around looking for ivy blossom to feed on. Ivy is one of the last wild plants of the year to bloom, so butterflies and bees tend to make the most of it when it’s in flower. The Brimstones are perfectly camouflaged amongst the shadows of the ivy leaves.
I took the chance to check on our little flock of rams en route. Our badger-face Shetland (named Mr Badger of course) is looking particularly well at the moment.
Although on closer inspection of this photo, I found he was rudely sticking out his tongue at me!
In the hedgrows there were some very pretty wild Bryony berries. They’re poisonous to humans, but I believe that birds can feed on them without a problem.
Back along the lane, my cat Maia was preoccupied with watching something in the hedge.
And on to the ewes’ field, where there were many Red Admiral Butterflies fluttering around the hedges and over the grass. I think they were feeding on the horse manure. Pretty as they are, Red Admirals do have some unsavoury food preferences…
Here too there were red berries in the hedges, but these were Rosehips which, when cooked into jam, are tasty and packed with Vitamin C. I think I’ll have to return here to collect some for jam-making.
The ewes were all present, safe and the right way up (always a good sign in a sheep!). Here’s Truffle, the Ryeland matriarch of the flock, with some of her gang.
And finally, on the way home, I inspected the hornet’s nest that’s being constructed on the roof of one of our workshops. Hornets are relatively uncommon in Britain, although we’ve usually had a nest somewhere on the farm each summer. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t at all aggressive towards people, unless of course they’re provoked. We prefer to work around their activities, as I feel they have as much right to be here as we do. The nest they’ve built this year is large and particularly beautiful.
I’ve enjoyed putting this post together, so I think I’ll make it the first of an occasional series. It’ll be good to share my finds around the seasons.
You don’t have to live in the countryside to see interesting wildlife. I suspect that species such as butterflies linger out and about for even longer in urban areas where it’s warmer. Have you seen anything interesting recently? Do share in the comments below.