Saturday, 18 April 2015

Ragpit cowslips

The primroses have had their moment and now their cousins the cowslips are taking their turn to shine. Aston Clinton Ragpits was covered with cowslips today when we popped in for a quick look round.

The cowslips grow on more open ground than the primroses and both are the food plant of the caterpillars of the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly. The name cowslip may come from the old English for cow dung as they were often found growing in pastures amongst the manure.

The primroses are still flowering, but they're in small patches in the ragpits, whereas the cowslips are appearing all over the open grassland.

We found another slow-worm. This one looks like it's lost the end of its tail, which they can do to escape predators. The tail can grow back, but is usually smaller than the original tail. Despite looking like snakes, they're legless lizards and eat slugs and worms.

Bug Mad Girl had a hunt through the chalk scraped out of some badger setts. She was looking for fossils, but didn't find any today. She did find a hatched pigeons egg though.

Fossil hunting

Pigeon egg
It finally felt like all the wildflowers were starting to grow. Lots of leaves had appeared since we were last there a coupe of weeks ago and it will soon be covered in flowers and buzzing with all manner of bees, beetles, butterflies and beasties. Best of all it can't be too long to wait now for the orchids to bloom. Can't wait!


  1. I love that first cowslip image - what a beaut!

  2. Thank you - I was a stunningly glorious day and a steep slope, so I could get underneath it. Glad you like it.