Tuesday, 20 July 2010

High summer

High summer, and the fields are already looking quite harvest-like - splashes of yellow among the darker green of the advancing year. I managed to get out for a walk this morning, first time in ages. Didn't get far, cause the exit from the field into wick lane had overgrown, so I had to walk right round the field (responsibly avoiding the growing barley crop) to get back to my entry point.
TS Eliot wrote:
'We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and to know the place for the first time'
Well I don't think that's the end of my exploring, but I did get to know the field better, and met a few friends along the way.
I had to watch my step all the way, as the dry weather has created deep cracks in the ground. Not sure why they develop in a zig-zag pattern!

This little yellowhammer was quite cross with me. I think it may have had a nest nearby, as instead of flying away when I disturbed it, it sat in the hedge chirruping to warn me off - and posing for it's picture too, of course.

The picture below, although pretty unclear, is to illustrate a very exciting encounter. I heard a bird song that I didn't recognise, and looked up to see two birds on the branches of a dead shrub. One of them, this little man, was cleaning itself vigourously and singing all the while (bird version of the shower!), while the other, similar but without the red throat, looked on from an adjoining twig. I had no idea what they were but lightened the pictures when I got home and looked them up in my book - oo-er I think they are linnets - male and female. I checked with my local wildlife group and it was confirmed. Very exciting, as I haven't seen them before, and they are on the red list of threatened species.
There are lots of butterflies around this time of year, some looking rather tattered from their exploits. Today I saw a speckled wood, a meadow brown and a small white, all of whom posed for me - and a comma who refused to pose, but did me the great honour of alighting on my shoulder for a second or so - magic.

This little ladybird was all on it's own in the barley, climbing up the awls, flying off, then climbing up the next one - looked like a pretty fruitless exercise - but maybe it was just exercise - he looks quite porky! Well actually it looks like two ladybirds facing one another but it is just one, crawling up like a schoolchild up a gym rope.

By the time I had got back to where I started it was time for breakfast, so I postponed the rest of my walk till another day - hopefully this week if the printers is still quiet.
Heading home down Vernal Lane I managed to get a shot of a hoverfly on a spear thistle - not my holy grail of one in flight, but it's a start!