Piles Copse

Piles Copse is a magical place to spend a sunny evening. On the way, there were some flowers hanging on in the hedgerows, caterpillars and butterflies, and lovely views from Ugborough Beacon. A pair of ravens patrols the beacon: In Piles Copse:   Sunset from Ugborough Beacon Advertisements

Late September

It is too drizzly for good photos, but there are still some flowers. Swathes of autumn hawkbit in the short grass of Moorhaven’s playing field, and something in the verge that I had missed earlier: balm. In the stream at the moorland edge of Wrangaton golf course, there is lots of water mint and a few flowers of devil’s…

Close up

At a first glance, you might think plants were all dying back now but looking closely there are many flowers still among the seed-heads. Here are some from the verge between Ivybridge station and Bittaford.

Signs of autumn

Autumn hawkbit (above) and camomile on the golf course. At the base of the hedgerows, there are tangles of redshank, knotgrass and water-pepper. There is lots of wild marjoram opposite the top of Green Lane, by the golf course sign, and enchanter’s nightshade at the bottom of Leigh Lane.       The last of the wild…

Scandinavia

The immense mine at Falun in Sweden at one time provided two-thirds of Europe’s copper. Pollution from smelting wiped out plants and micro-organisms for several kilometres around. The mine closed in 1992 and a beautiful array of wildflowers has recolonised the area immediately adjacent to the mine. By the sea in Copenhagen: Platform 26, Copenhagen…

Marsh and meadow

Some water-loving plants out in July at White Oxen, including brooklime, marsh bedstraw, ragged robin, and fool’s watercress. Water figwort: Long-stalked cranesbill on drier ground: At home in August, small tortoiseshells on buddleia

Hummingbird hawkmoth

There was a hummingbird hawkmoth right outside our back door this afternoon. Amazing how it hovered still enough to take a fairly crisp photo, with the wings just a blur.

Haytor

A visit to the nature reserve in an old quarry at Haytor. There were white waterlilies and yellow fringed waterlilies. Fringed waterlilies are native to the Fens and Thames valley, but introduced and increasing in Devon. There were tiny frogs (above), sticklebacks, and a palmate newt. Note his black ‘gloves’ and thread-like tail tip.

Wild parsnip

There are several sturdy plants of wild parsnip in Ivybridge station carpark. I haven’t seen it on any of my other regular walks. There were also lots of butterflies enjoying the ragwort, great willowherb, scabious and knapweed, and a dingy footman on the underside of a leaf. Walking back to Moorhaven, there were two winged casualties on…

Southern hawker

A brilliant green dragonfly cruising over the pond – a southern hawker. She was perfectly camouflaged (top picture) in dappled shade while depositing her eggs. There was also a very pretty marmalade hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus) on flowers at the edge of the pond. This is one of few species of flies that can crush and eat…

Plymouth

A lovely selection of flowers at Mount Wise Redoubt, a part of Plymouth I hadn’t seen before. Many bushes of spiny restharrow (because its tough stems would stop or ‘arrest’ a harrow), with teasels, knapweed and field scabious. I think the knapweed is lesser knapweed but a less common variant that has divided petals like…

Silver-washed fritillary

A beautiful and large butterfly in the garden yesterday. A silver-washed fritillary, according to the lovely people at iSpot Nature. Although it is the most common fritillary, populations are struggling because its favourite habitat of woodland glades has declined drastically since the 1960s, in part because deciduous woodland has been replaced by conifer plantation and in…