I walked the dog around Grangelands this morning in the spitting rain and wind. I just thought to myself that there wouldn't be any butterflies silly enough to be flying in this weather, when a silver spotted skipper flew up to me and sat on a flower at my feet. It was the only butterfly I saw all morning, but what a great one to spot!
|Female silver spotted skipper|
We visited the Hell-Fire caves in West Wycombe yesterday. They're a series of tunnels and caves dug into the chalk hill, that were used by the infamous Hell-Fire club formed by Sir Francis Dashwood in the 18th century. These days it's a fun place to visit, look for ghosts and jump out and scare your parents!
|Face carved into the wall of one of the tunnels|
|Ruins outside the caves|
|Moss covered lady|
|The river Styx|
|The monument at the top of Coombe Hill - looks like it's got a bit of a lean|
but I don't think it really has!
|Wonderful views of the Chilterns and out across the Vale of Aylesbury|
We played in the stream ...
Tiny dark green shiny beetles were all over the plants along the edge of the stream. As soon as you got close to them they'd ping off into the distance.
We found a tall plant with yellow flowers growing by the stream. It caught my eye because of the great big spikes underneath each leaf. Looked a bit viscous!
We checked the nettles growing along the edge of the stream for black spiky caterpillars (comma, small tortoiseshell and peacock) but didn't find any. That's a bit of a worry as we usually always see them there, so lets hope they're not going to have a bad year. We did see a lovely peacock butterfly sunbathing in the grass though.
Whistlejacket watched us from his tree as we walked back home.
|A robber fly from Grangelands - love its spiky legs|
|A sexton beetle - this one was playing dead, but eventually lifted its head up|
and disappeared into the undergrowth. They're always covered in mites
and you can see them under this ones chin!