Wednesday 11 July 2012

Butterfly Park

Yesterdays run was a Hawton - Farndon - Home route. The Devon looks swollen, the sky was a threatening battleship grey. It didn't perturb the swallows though, which were skimming the big fields of unripe wheat on the Hawton-Fardon road in largish numbers - to me they seem to like following the tractor paths that flatten the stalks.

The chestnut back of a kestrel settled low in a tree just in front of me, but I couldn't get a closer look. Perhaps it had a portal to Bill Oddie's head in the trunk, hence its disappearance.

Today went out to RHP cricket ground, then down along the cycle path past London Road. A solitary large white was the only butterfly I saw.

Passed London Road lake escaped across Clay Lane and entered Beacon Hill Reserve at the lower end, watched by a smaller number of rabbits than usual - about a thousand. As has been my habit the last few days, I stopped and had a look at what you may have seem me refer to as "Butterfly Park".

This is a scrubby corner of a scrubby hardcore wasteground - not really soil, sentried by this sort of diesel punk gas substation, and at the moment covered at a high level by Buddleiah - in flower again at the moment, mainly purple with a few white ones thrown in, mixed in with flowering thistle and this tall yellow flower I've never been able to identify.

At the moment, it's beautifully carpeted with buttercuppy looking small yellow flowers, and these purple almost heathery looking plants that I photographed a lovely Cinnabar Moth on a few days ago.

It's such an unconventionally attractive spot, the ground is littered with the evidence of fly tipping and underage drinkers, yet the straggling, blown where they want plants and rugged locale make it attractive - a concrete factory stands nearby. Yet, in late Summer, this is the best spot for finding and photographing butterflies I've seen in this whole area. 3 years ago every flower was covered by painted ladies, more recently I've found and sometimes photographed Peacocks, Commas, Brown Argus, Cinnabars, 6 Spot Burnets (yes, moths I know I know) Red Admirals, Tortoisehells and Painted LAdies, and various other flying things.

And sometimes, I think no-one knows about this place apart from me, and a few flytippers and teenage drunks!

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