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
Saturday, 26 August 2017
Blackberrying, Books and Garden Butterflies and Moths
D and I went blackberrying last weekend at our usual location along a public footpath near a river.
We spotted this Robin's Pincushion or Bedeguar Gall near the car park. These are caused by the larvae of a tiny (4mm long) gall wasp - Dipoloepis rosae. The grubs secrete chemicals which causes the abnormal growth of roses forming the pin-cushion. They are found in late summer are widespread and common and the galls contain many chambers each containing a larva. It gains the red colour as it matures during the autumn and the larvae feed on the plant over the course of the winter and spring eventually emerging as adults which reproduce asexually.
Haws and elderberries are ripening in the hedgerow and we managed to collect
a large container of blackberries.
The next day we made 3 jars of blackberry jam and
an apple and blackberry crumble.
Thankfully, this year I was careful where I walked and didn't manage to twist my ankle again down an entrance to a badger sett - I did get covered in insect bites though :(
"The January Man A Year of Walking Britain" by Christopher Somerville has been shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize and I really did love this book. The book was inspired by a song of the same name by Dave Goulder and is the story of a year of walking in various parts of the British Isles. The walks follow routes that remind the author of his father and the many walking holidays they shared. The author describes the people he meets, the history, the wildlife and the landscape as he searches for the truth about the sort of person his father really was. Christopher Somerville writes beautifully and the book is a poignant and moving tribute to his father. Highly recommended.
The 6th Ruth Galloway mystery book - only 4 to go and I am up to date! Easy and fun reading and I enjoyed this as much as others in the series. I find these books hard to put down and Ruth Galloway is a very engaging character.
Martin Edwards is a new author to me - I think I was tempted to buy the book because the series is set in the Lake District although I may have seen the books on someone else's blog - Rosie or Codlins and Cream?? The main characters in the book are are Daniel Kind, an Oxford Historian, and his new girlfriend Miranda who escape to renovate a cottage in the Lake District in search of a new lifestyle and DCI Hannah Scarlet who has a new job in charge of a department that has been set up to review old crime cases. The first case she reviews involves the murder of a woman tourist on the Sacrifice Stone near to Daniel's cottage and Daniel and other characters in the story all knew the person originally suspected of committing the crime. The book does take quite a long time to get going although presumably it is to introduce several of the people who will feature in future novels. The ending has an unexpected twist and I have already uploaded the second in the series to my Kindle.
Garden Butterflies and Moths
A rubbish photo but the first garden Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) of the year spotted last week didn't linger long! In fact, I have seen very few of this species at all this year.
For various reasons I haven't put out my moth trap much this year so these two species were found in the garage.
Last night I spotted what initially looked like a Red Admiral fluttering around the garage light. This morning I spotted a large moth on the garage wall and was really chuffed to find a Red Underwing (Catocala nupta) - this is a species I have never managed to trap. In the photo below you can just see a glimpse of its red underskirt.
D managed to get a much better photo below as I released it.
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.