Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. She found a lovely wild flower meadow on her recent visit to The Newt with my sister Mary.
For reasons not unconnected with staying up late to watch the very exciting mixed triathlon relay at the Olympic games, I was quite tired this morning, and did little of note beyond some dead heading in the garden and having coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret.
I noticed so many bees about while I was dead heading that I took my bee camera out and shot as many as I could.
Snapdragons were a popular bee destination . . .
. . . and dahlias and the buddleia were a draw as well . . .
. . . though I did find one dahlia without a bee on it.
I got really close to a bee on a stachys . . .
. . . twice.
I took my little camera out too to record some colour on a grey day, and managed to find yet another bee on a dahlia along with a disgruntled blackbird which I had disturbed while it was having a bath in the pond.
I was looking at the pond to see if there were any water lilies about.
We have visitors coming tomorrow so there was some preparation to do for that too, but generally, it was a quiet morning.
After lunch, I checked on the birds, and was pleased to see a blue tit at the feeder . . .
. . . and then we went for an outing to the Langholm Moor and the Tarras valley.
We stopped on the moor to look for hen harriers, and when we didn’t see any, we drove on down to the Tarras Valley and parked in the handy car park at the start of the road along the Tarras Water.
Our intention was to walk a mile or so along the road and back, seeing what we could see along the way.
We must have seen a lot because I came home with well over 100 pictures from two cameras. The light was pretty poor though, so a lot weren’t any good. All the same, I have put quite a few low quality pictures into the galleries from the walk just to show how much there was to see. Many readers may have contributed to the purchase of this area by the community.
We saw any amount of wild flowers. Heather, erica tetralix, sharp flowered rush, tormentil, lady’s bedstraw, bog asphodel, watercress in a ditch, knapweed, pignut, two mystery things, thistle, hawkbit and harebells . (Any corrections gratefully received.)
There were fauna as well as flora. Goats, buzzards, winchats, wagtails and a meadow pipit. (Once again, all identifications are open to corrections by people who know what they are talking about.)
As I am not up to lugging my biggest lens about on a walk any more, the birds and goats tended to be a bit further away than my cameras could cope with on such a grey day, but the gallery does show that there was a lot of wildlife about .
The sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal spotted this very pretty Cicadella Viridis lurking among the long grass. I have never seen one before.
There was more wildlife at a large party of Borthwicks who were having a sociable post non Common Riding gathering beside the river.
We graciously declined an offer to take part in a cherry stone spitting for distance competition as we went past.
In spite of the gloomy day, I took a number of views as we went along.
We had timed our walk well. It started to rain gently just as we got back to the car, and then a bit harder as we drove home.
For a two and a half mile walk, we reckoned that it had been pretty rewarding.
It started to rain a bit more earnestly when we got in, so that concluded the active part of our day.
The flying bird and flower of the day are combined, although the flying bird may turn out to be a bee.