Thursday, 8 July 2010

Short walk

A shorter walk this morning as we had chores to do at home before we set out. So, just over 3 miles today as we set out to stroll around Straw's Bridge ponds.  Here's a map of today's route....
Another beautiful day - although we really do need some rain now. We were promised some rain yesterday, but in the event, about four drops fell and immediately evaporated. Thankfully, the meadows around Straw's Bridge are still green and beautiful. The Meadowsweet is in full bloom and adding it's scent to all the other smells of summer.
Among the hedgerows as we walked along were these pale, pink flowers. They belong to the Musk Mallow (Malva moschata).
By far the most common butterfly to be found around this area this year, is the Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus). Last year, the predominant butterfly of the hedgerows was the Speckled Wood, they are very scarce this year for some reason. This Ringlet was being very photogenic by sitting still while I photographed him (or her?)
The most surprising thing we saw this morning was this little Toad (Bufo bufo), it was almost brick-red in colour.
We see many toads in this area, especially at this time of year, but we have never seen one this colour before. Normally they are more of an 'olive' colour, or brownish at best, but this little chap was quite something!
On the theme of toads, one of the most spectacular sights in the hedgerows has to be the Toadflax (Linaria repens). Related to Snapdragons, it's easy to see why when you look carefully at the beautiful flowers.
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