Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Snapping the blues

A distinguished guest artist today: my Guardian colleague David Sillitoe, who came with me to do a piece about the new National Centre for the Ice Age which Sir David Attenborough opens this Friday at Cresswell Crags near Worksop. David's an eminent butterfly man as well as photographer; some of the specimens he collected as a teenager on a trip to the Middle East are in the national collection at Kensington. I was a bit dozy after getting up at 4.30am to cover the refinery protest at Lindsey, so it was David who spotted this Common Blue. I said: "Wait to see if it opens its wings" (the really blue part on the male) but he said: "The underwing is more beautiful." Now he's emailed me his picture, I'd say he's right. Cresswell Crags is an excellent place; a limestone gorge pockmarked with 25 caves on either side of an ornamental lake where the dukes of Portland went duck shooting. In 2003, the first real prehistoric cave art in Britain was discovered in Church Hole cave. Here's an enhanced view of a reindeer thanks to, but be warned, the real thing is much less distinct and takes time to spot. Now that the £7 million centre is open, you can go and do that. See

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