carline thistle, common soldier beetle, forest bug, harebell, hemp agrimony, hogweed, mating red beetles, Meadow Brown, rowan berries, tapered drone fly
There’s no such thing as a bad time to enjoy a walk on Bryn Euryn, but during the longer daylight hours of the summer, an early evening during the week can be the perfect time to find it quiet and peaceful.
The woodland is almost silent now, with just the occasional rustle from the undergrowth or the flash of a skulking bird to remind you that you are not alone here. It reminds me of such walks in the woods around the cottage I grew up in, at an age when my imagination frequently ran riot and I was convinced I was being watched from every tree and shrub. By what or whom I’m still not sure, but I can clearly remember that feeling on summer evenings such as this, when the silence is almost tangible.
Out in the open insects are making the most of the late sunshine to stoke up on nectar fuel for the night. Hogweed is in flower and almost every umbel has at least one pair of mating soldier beetles.
The slightly cooler temperature of an early evening can make it easier to photograph some insects as they are intent on feeding and move a little slower.
A movement at the top of a long grass stem caught my eye and I found this lovely Forest bug balancing there. It has a lovely bronzy sheen to its wing-cases.
Brambles are beginning to develop berries, but there are still flowers on some bushes attracting bees and hoverflies.
One of my favourite wildflowers, the Harebell is in fresh full bloom now. Sometimes they find themselves growing in goups, caught up amongst long grass stems where they grow longer stems to reach the open air.
I love to see them best growing from shorter turf, their beautiful blue bells held aloft on sturdy wiry stems where they can turn towards the sun and nod and wave freely in the breeze.
An important summer nectar flower, Hemp Agrimony, whose dusky pink flowers are relished by some species of butterflies is also blooming now. The impressive stand of it in my photograph was in shade this evening, so no visitors; I’ll have to come back earlier on a sunny day.
While some plants are at the peak of their flowering, others are already beginning to produce their fruits. I mentioned blackberries earlier, which are just beginning to form, but there are wild-growing raspberries here that are perfectly ripe. I couldn’t resist picking and eating a few; sorry birds.
The hips on the Burnet Roses are formingly nicely, already a good size and red in colour, they will get bigger yet and turn black.
There are tiny acorns on the oak trees too.
And the Rowan trees have ripening berries.
Back into the woods for a short while and its very quiet, although I have heard a Chiffchaff as I’ve been walking around and disturbed a young Robin where it was pecking around on the damp earth of the track. Emerging back into the sunshine onto the grassy hillside I also disturbed a rabbit that raced off up the steep hill in front of me. I watched its white cotton tail bobbing away and envying the effortless way it bounded up there. There are a lot of rabbits here that do a great job of grass-keeping in certain areas, but you don’t see them often.
Almost at the top of the hill I stopped to gaze at the view as I always do. That’s not just to catch my breath, although it helps, but it’s a stunning view whatever time of day or year you’re admiring it. I love it when as now the sun is lower in the sky and shadows sculpt the hills. The sky was particularly interesting this evening too.
On the rockier summit of the hill, where the soil is thinner and more calcareous, the fascinating Carline thistle thrives. For much of the year you can see the dried out remains of the leaves and flowers, but now is the time to catch it coming into full curious flower. I will go into more detail about this plant in a later post.
I had seen a few butterflies during the course of my walk, all fluttering around in the long grass. There were a few Small Heaths, but most were Meadow Browns. Just as I was heading back towards a woodland path to head back to the car, this one fluttered into view and landed on the tight bud of a knapweed flower. I was really pleased, as although this is an abundant species here, they are rarely this obliging and views such as this are not often offered.
Thank you, I know very little about Bahrain, but imagine it to be hot! I can tell from your own photographs and blog that you enjoy nature too, so I’m sure you take your daughter to places where you can show it to her and she can get closer to it. Please give her my best wishes and hope I can take more photographs she will like.
My Refractions said:
From a place like Bahrain, every single bug and beetle looks precious… my daughter recently tried to befriend a nameless insect that was seen in the lobby… the point is, the kid is so aloof from the nature but simply loves being there. She loves your photos…
Thank you Anny, It’s fascinating the difference a few hours make to how you see a familiar place and what you notice in a different light or even at a different temperature. I have lots of ideas and photos for blogs and finally have some time to action some of them, so hope you’ll find some bits that interest you in amongst them. Best wishes.
Having become so used to spotting things on my early morning walk, it’s lovely to hear your record of the evening walk. We too have a combination of bramble flower and small fruit in the lane and it seems that this is common. The latest thing I’ve noticed this week are the tiny hazel nuts beginning to show. I hope you’ll be able to keep more posts coming, they’re always a joy and you teach me so much!
Thank you Gill, both for your comments and for working so hard to keep the Bryn such a very special place for its wildlife and the people that enjoy it on many different levels. I’m happy to be able to give you something back! Best wishes, Theresa
It’s always a joy to read your blog from a place I know so well but know in so little detail. I must look harder in future! Great photos. Thankyou.
Funny the difference 150 miles can make isn’t it? There were ripe berries in Spain when I was there at the end of June too, but they weren’t as plump and succulent as our British ones.
Emily Heath said:
The blackberries are more advanced here in London. There are few flowers left and many of the berries are black already.