Sunday, 2 August 2015

Pyrtle Spring in August

We visited Pyrtle Spring this morning to see how things had changed over the last month. It felt dry and dusty all around the spring, making it look like an oasis in a desert of stubble and parched crops.

The fields of rape seed were being harvested. It was fascinating to watch the combine harvester chomping its way through the field, but it was a really dusty business!

The red kites were circling, diving down occasionally to collect any morsels left behind.

The field of stubble shows just how dry everything was, although there were plenty of tree seedlings starting to grow.

We were expecting the spring to be dry, even after the torrential rain last weekend, which it was. The ground did feel slightly damp though, but not enough to make a puddle.

The floor of the spring
From down in the bottom of the spring ...
  • Looking up you feel like you're in a rainforest, with the trees around the spring towering overhead.

  • Looking around the willowherb was flowering, much of it at least 7' tall! There were plenty of hoverflies and flies around.
Common hoverfly

Fly with amazing eyes and a hairy back!
  • Looking down (and under logs) there were loads of big copper coloured slugs.

We left the spring and had a hunt around the edge of the fields. The peacock caterpillars we saw last month were all gone from the nettles (presumably to pupate) but we did find lots of ladybirds, soldier beetles and capsid bugs.
Capsid bug

7-spot ladybird

14-spot ladybird
We found a pretty spotty caterpillar
 Then a lovely common darter settled near us and posed for a photo.

We took one last peep through the trees at the spring below, then headed for home.

Looking down at the spring from the top of the bank

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