Sunday, 25 June 2017

Catch-up time

It's catch-up time, because I have been on holiday for the past week in the Scottish Borders, first for a cousin's lovely wedding, blessed by the sunshine and warm weather which most of the UK has enjoyed, and then for explorations of the valleys of the old Debatable Lands - so beautiful now, so terrifying in mediaeval and pre-Stuart days - and of glorious Northumberland.

We didn't have room for the moth trap but nonetheless managed to find a big, fat Drinker Moth on the drive to one of the places we stayed.  These lovely, big yellowy moths take me back to my schooldays when we found the caterpillars, handsome creatures with a touch of Little Lord Fauntleroy blue velvet, sipping the dew from grass - the habit which gives the species its name.

On the lovely walk between Gilsland and Birdoswald fort on the Roman Wall, we also found a thriving colony of Chimney Sweeper moths, a day-flying species which I last saw in very similar, path-verge conditions on the lowest slopes of the Old Man of Coniston in the Lake District, two years ago. The moth is entirely black except for the slender thread of contrasting white along the edge of its forewings. A beautiful creature. 

I hope that you will forgive me adding a couple of photos to show the wonderful, uncrowded nature of this part of the world. Here is Bamburgh Castle from Ross Back Sands:

Penny and I were the only people on THREE MILES of unspoilt sandy beach:

 Here also is a dragon or damselfly on P's tum:

A very large jellyfish on Rockcliffe beach, a pretty spot near to Sweetheart Abbey on the Galloway coast,

and a couple of pics of a Cinnabar back in Oxfordshire, taken just before we set sail for the North:

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