Whilst out for a family walk/bike ride over in the, slightly less horrible in summer, Fernworthy Forest, I spotted three butterflies I had never seen before: Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. I'm pretty sure they're the small version because of the slightly different markings and vivid orange. Apparently the marginally larger version are paler in colour. This is me photographing them....very obliging, unlike the perpetually moving dragon flies this week. Not a chance with my camera I'm afraid.
The underside markings are what give them their name:
According to the UK Butterflies web site:
The strongholds of this species are found throughout much of Scotland and Wales and in the NW and SW counties of England with scattered colonies elsewhere.
Perhaps you see them all the time, in which case you will have scrolled down by now! I was very excited....
After last year's total vegetable garden disaster, we are now vigilantly patrolling our small patch every night for those devilish slugs and snails and picking them off with glee. Last night, by the light of the head torch, we found this lovely common toad patrolling for us:
What a star. I will sleep easier in the knowledge that he/she is out there.
Last week, I put in my fortnightly order for bulking-up-Trigger horse food over the phone to our local supplier, Animal Crackers, and also mentioned I would like the usual bag of bird seed. Oh dear.....I failed to mention the size of the bag, thinking they would know it was 3kg. What I found in the shed later that day was a nearly £30.00, 25Kg bag perched on top of the horse food. I was NOT happy for both space and financial reasons and had to quickly order a seed feeder to start getting rid of the excess. Here it is:
I've fixed it to the side of the post on which I put the bird porridge at feeding time, thinking they would be pecking away with alacrity in minutes. Two days later and it's still full. I've seen one Great Tit halfheartedly poking about and that's it. Perhaps they need to get used to it? I REALLY hope so.
What a glorious day today. I'm writing this in the sunshine in the garden with a cup of tea, having finished my list of jobs. However, it's so hot, I fear the laptop may explode so I may have to retreat to the cool of the house. Here are a few more pictures from this week so far.
Yellow Hawkbit emerging on the verges:
Moorland grasses flowering:
Lily of the Valley:
The outside of the Great Masterwort (Astrantia Major) again; so beautiful:
These two hardy Geraniums were one of the very few plants here when we moved to the house, both giants which need taking in hand every year:
Beauty in small things: a fly on the window ledge. No idea what it is but I'm sure Margarethe Brummermann of http://arizonabeetlesbugsbirdsandmore.blogspot.co.uk/ will be able to enlighten me:
She did..........a Snipe Fly, probably Rhagionidae Rhagio.
Snippet in the back of the Land Rover due to space issues, not bird seed related this time:
A rare nice bit at Fernworthy Forest:
Magpie wondering when I'm going to leave so it can get to the food:
What looks like a pearl on the Chaffinch's beak
View through the sedge today:
Trigger's hoof is much the same. I had to speak to the vet again yesterday and this morning as he was hopping about looking very lame again, despite endless duct tape and poultice work. He (the vet) is disappointed at the lack of puss emerging. Nice. I've had to scour the field for discarded 'dressings', all of which have been puss-free. He seems better today but I think this is going to be a long haul. The hole is at least three months worth of hoof growth deep so I ordered a new roll of tape today in anticipation of much packing. He was better this afternoon munching:
The Dartmoor Madams having their scoopful:
This one didn't like the bits of Trigger's special food that he dropped over the gate:
I have solved the picture transfer problem with a little USB DX card reader thingy which cost £3.49 including postage. Brilliant. Until next time, here's Snippet at the field today.