Saturday, August 17th 2019
Setting off for a walk around I did not think that there would be much on the wing due to the very strong wind. I was wrong. However trying to photograph those on the wing proved interesting. Photographs include vegetation and no insect, totally out of focus vegetation and of course hands and fingers trying to hold the flower still! But some insects did co-operate and I was able to obtain some lovely photos.
I have seen Brimstone butterflies fly this way and that way but never close enough even to get a splodge, but I was lucky today.
Speckled Wood butterflies have not been common over the last few weeks but almost every sunny glade had at least one sunbathing.
I wondered what sort of leaf was waving in the wind, until I realised that it was a Common Blue butterfly hanging on tightly to a stem. It did not move as I crept closer to get a macro shot.
Hand rails of bridges, especially along Risedale Beck, can often reveal some interesting creatures. I spotted a tiny Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar crawling along. These moth caterpillars used to be a pest on hop crops in south east England. The pickers called them Hop Dogs and some claimed that they could cause a severe allergic skin reaction. We do not have hops on our species list but we do have a wide variety of deciduous trees and plenty of Bramble on which the caterpillars feed. They can take up to two months to reach a size of 40mm and they are then ready to pupate.
Saw-wort blooms in a hidden away part of the reserve and provides nectar for many butterflies and bees. Where once there was only one clump of this plant, now there are several.
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