Sunday, 7 September 2014

Autumn in the Chilterns - Butterflies, Gentian, Juniper and Berries

The sun was shining so we went for a walk with Nanny Moth to Aston Rowant nature reserve. There were lots of butterflies enjoying the grasses and wildflowers, mainly Meadow Browns, tiny Common Blues and Small Heaths. We also spotted a Brimstone and several Chalkhill Blues.

Common Blue

Meadow Brown

Small Heath
On the path through the trees, we saw several Speckled Woods in the dappled sunlight. We also saw a beautiful Comma that looked like it had only just hatched.


Speckled Wood

We found some Gentian growing in the grass, which we think is the rare Chiltern Gentian (although I have to admit that it is difficult to tell it apart from Autumn Gentian). Chiltern Gentian has brighter coloured flowers and larger petals.
Chiltern Gentian (I think)

Chiltern Gentian
The Thistles were all fluffy and blowing their seeds everywhere.

Thistle fluff
There were lots of berries around, but best of all were these lovely Juniper berries, growing on a great bush that looked quite a lot like a monster. Juniper is very precious in the Chilterns and had almost disappeared until a number of projects were established to protect it and re-introduce it. Good to see this one doing so well.

A Juniper 'monster' bush

#100DaysOfNature Day 46 - Juniper berries
This huge spider was enjoying a fly for it's tea. He had very hairy legs!

#100DaysOfNature Day 47

Despite the lovely warm sunshine, it was feeling very Autumnal and there were loads of berries and seeds around ...

Agrimony seed heads




Lords and Ladies


Dog Rose

Beech masts

Hazel nuts
Field Maple

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