Boys from the brown stuff

Today it was a pleasure to welcome Beddington Sewage Farm stalwarts Peter Alfrey and Kevin Guest onto the chalk for a botanical foray. A start at Epsom Downs provided Cypress Spurge and Round-headed Rampion, with butterflies also highlighting with a second-generation Small Blue and plenty of Chalkhill Blues. We then continued onto Mickleham and a scour of Juniper Bottom. The orchids were largely over, although there were a few Broad-leaved Helleborines in bud. Corn Mint (below) was a pleasant find, along with plenty of Silver-washed and Dark Green Fritillaries, plus one Purple Emperor which flew down the middle of the path and straight through us.

The slopes of Box Hill at the zig-zag were a great disappointment, with the parched ground not a great place for much flower or insect activity. We cut our losses and headed to the River Mole at Young Street, where a combination of cool shade and watery aspect cooled us down. Botanical highlights included Small Teasel (below), Arrowhead and Branched Bur-reed. A rather showy Silver-washed Fritillary (top) and a host of dragonflies and damselflies were a good end to a day that had been rather compromised by the hot dry spell.


I came across that small teasel at work the other day, was wondering what it was
Steve Gale said…
Not a common plant down here Simon
Derek Faulkner said…
Butterflies still in short supply here on Sheppey Steve. Also, one of my lavender borders has widened to give the best displays of flowers ever, yet bees in ones and twos - really sad.
Steve Gale said…
Our garden lavender had plenty of bees yesterday Derek after quiet a few quiet days, but the general trend is for fewer insects. As you say, sad.

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