A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Wednesday, 12 July 2017
Isle of Wight Day 2 1st July: Part 1 Local Walk and The Long Stone Mottistone Common
We went to quite a few places on the Saturday so, as I am afraid I have been a bit self indulgent again with the number of photos!, I will split it into two posts.
We woke in the morning to the sight of yachts from the bedroom window it was the day of the Round the Island Race.
So an early morning walk to the coast path to see if we could get better views. I have used D's photos here with the Canon bridge due to the usefulness of the zoom.
Butterflies were already in abundance
Edit - oops Meadow Brown rather than Gatekeeper!
Coastal views toward Freshwater Bay
And a few closer views of the yachts.
I love these daisies - I see them so often on holiday and on days out.
After breakfast we drove the short distance to the Mottistone Estate for a walk on the common (restored heathland with wonderful views) to the Long Stone.
Some views from the top of Mottistone Common
Looking towards St Catherine's Down - more of St Catherine later.
Mottistone church (visited in the afternoon) towards the foreground with the village of Brook (where we stayed) behind.
Meet "Osborne" - one of two Isle of Wight bears returning to the island.
The heathland was full of wild flowers and so many insects. Photos to follow of just a few of these. Please feel free to leave a comment if any of my id's are incorrect.
I couldn't find this hoverfly in my book on Britain's Hoverflies (actually although it is mentioned there is no photo (or that is my excuse!!) so I posted a photo on Twitter and many thanks to Joan Brady who has identified it as Eupeodes nitens.
Soldier Beetle on the right - not sure about the insect on the left - I should have got a better photo!
Rock rose?, Daisy and Clover
Scarlet Pimpernel - also known as "Shepherd's Weatherglass" as the flowers close when the weather is poor.
A first look at this beetle and it reminded me of a Swollen-thighed beetle but without the swollen thighs! A look at the Collins insect guide suggested Musk?So again I put a photo on twitter and, again thanks to Joan Brady for the id, agreeing it could be Musk Beetle or more likely Spanish Fly beetle as abdomen is longer than the elytra.
It was only after the visit that I read on the National Trust website that both Dartford Warbler and Green Tiger Beetles occur on the common so a return visit is on the cards in the future!
The Long Stone
This is the remains of a 6000 year old Neolothic communal long barrow. The long burial area, measuring 32 metres long 9 metres wide and 2 metres high, is to the left behind the stone and you may be able to make it out in some of the photos. The two stones standing at the end align with the rising sun.
It is possible that bodies were left out so that animals and birds could pick them clean and the bones would then be buried in a chamber and soil later added on top to create the mound.
Not a lot is known about the Mottistone Estate during Saxon times although the name Mottistone may derive from the Saxon words "Moot" meaning meeting place. This could mean that the Long Stone was where the court of the local "hundred" had met.
By the mid 1800's the stones had been moved from their original position. The long barrow remain untouched until 1700's when it was disturbed by quarrying and excavations in 1850 and 1956. The 19th century excavation was ordered by local squire, Lord Dillon, who failed to find anything in the barrow but the 19566 excavation discovered kerb stones and a ditch round the edge of the mound.
The Long Stone is surrounded by mystery and myth and legend tells that St Catherine and the Devil held a competition to find out who would control the Isle of Wight. The tall 4 metre high stone was thrown by St Catherine from the nearby down which bears her name. Meanwhile the Devil threw a much shorter stone which fell short of St Catherine's and he lost the wager. The position of the stones represents the triumph of good over evil.
Lichens on the stones.
The surrounding area also contains Bronze Age Burial mounds, an Iron Age enclosure, ancient tracks and chalk quarries. I really must get out the OS map and ruler and see if I can find some ley lines :)
Spot me seeking the "energies".
Osborne enjoying views of the Long Stone
and the scenery on the return walk.
In the afternoon we visited the ancient nearby Mottistone Church (where a rather delectable actor got married) with its wonderful wildlife churchyard, a brief trip to Freshwater and Compton and a visit to a local pub but I will save that for Part 2.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.