Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Muckle Samuel's Crags

A lovely day out with Mum and Dad. First up to Muckle Samuel's - no bilberries - the vegetation has changed dramatically, and then on to Gowk Bank - followed by the best cup of Kelly-kettle tea ever!
Antler moth; ringlet and hoverfly: golden-ringed dragonfly: hoverfly - once the thistles had stopped blowing around! 

Rocky enjoying himself ..again!

Gowk bank - not as spectacular as we'd expected - and late in the season to be awaiting its first cut. 

Kelly-kettle and short bread - fab!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Porthclais textile cliffs

..and following on from yesterday's work; a textile piece - procion dyes and machine embroidery/sketching.
(Approx 12" x 12")

Monday, 29 July 2013

Porthclais coastline

Well as promised a few blogs back - I have, on the first really wet day of the hols, found time to paint the Pembrokeshire coast near Porthclais. I really like to paint having just visited somewhere but I have walked the coast there and sketched it many times. So first I used charcoal ...and then oil.
Charcoal and watercolour  (15"x 22")

Oil  (8"x 20")

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Langdales classic

Up and off relatively early so we could get up the Langdales before it became to hot and humid!  Walking up to Stickle Tarn was distinctly hot but there was a slight breeze on the tops. Took the eastern route up Pavey Ark and then on to: Harrison Stickle: Pike of Stickle; across to Thunacar Knott; on to High Raise and then back to Sergent Man and then, given the indigo tinge to the sky, descended to Stickle Tarn and back down to Stickle Barn for refreshments. The route down from Sergeant Man to Stickle tarn is very gentle on the feet and to remember for the future. Rocky thoroughly enjoyed it all - especially the scrambling on Pike of Stickle and now scrambles up any boulder/outcrop that he can.
Towards Pavey Ark ; looking down Langdale; Rocky and Steve on Thunacar knott.

Towards Sergeant Man
Pavey Ark and Harrison Stickle 
Stickle Tarn 

Friday, 26 July 2013


Another glorious day so walked up Langstrath Beck from Stonethwaite. Sometimes you see pictures of the Lake District with ridiculously blue skies and bright green valleys was one of those days!
Langstrath Beck - the swimming pool is just below the tree- refreshing!

Keeled skimmer - a good record for the area and a golden ringed dragonfly.
We also saw common hawker and large red damselfly.

More harebells and bog pimpernel.
The pimpernel was in part of a lovely damp area with lousewort, tormentil and sundews.
We also found mountain everlasting on some of the mid river boulders. 

...and Rocky, who really didn't like us swimming nor when he fell in!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Meathop Moss

After our visit to Whitbarrow we also took the opportunity to visit Cumbria Wildlife Trust's Meathop Moss reserve. It's looking really good and had the feel ( if you ignored the sound of traffic) of some of the really big mosses we had visited in Sweden. We just caught the end of the bog asphodel flowering but failed to see large heath on the wing as the light was declining prior to a thundery downpour. We did however, see the Manchester treble bar moth, which is a bog specialist and new to us. We left Foulshaw Moss for another day.
Bog asphodel.

White-beaked sedge.

Across the moss.

Whitbarrow NNR

A lovely day down in South Cumbria on Whitbarrow Scar. First though a walk in Witherslack Woods where we saw speckled wood and comma butterflies - which we don't get in North Cumbria, as well as lots of high brown fritillaries and a couple of silver washed frits too. We also found Strangalia quadrifasciata, a rare yellow and black long horn beetle.
High brown fritillary in Witherslack Woods

Common blue, Witherslack Woods - in the middle of a thistle patch!

Detail of dark red helleborine; harebells against silver birch; carline thistles.

.......and Rocky! - who tried to chase the thunder!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Pembrokeshire calling!

Well I've been lucky and had a run on cards so the last few evenings have been spent making cards.We had hoped to be going to Pembrokeshire tomorrow - maybe later in the holiday. So I think if, as predicted, it's raining here tomorrow, it may well be a long painting of the cliffs near Porth Clais - at least I can pretend to be there! 

Events and the lack of surf have conspired against us - at least I'm well
stocked up - elephant cards nearly completed too. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

New leaf cards and more moths.

Clouds of moths at night time and we continue to get new arrivals.
Yellow-tail; Large Emerald; Brimstone and Drinker Moth.

Some new cards for the autumn - not wishing the summer away though! 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Red sky at night......

View from the front door - and it hasn't been photo-shopped at all! 

Camouflaged moths

Another good mothing night - 65 species in total!
Lychnis, Green Arches and grey dagger -
all naturally settled where they were well camouflaged when released.

Peach blossom - a summer favourite and buff arches - new for us. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Sweet Williams

As the weather continues to be unbelievably warm and dry for Cumbria we are beginning to remember what a real summer is and why we bother to grow both vegetables and flowers. Being virtually on a spring line the garden remains damp and doesn't require any watering. The flowers remain upright and haven't been blasted by the usual wind and rain - a treat indeed!
Sweet Williams
Its amazing how plants that were under snow for prolonged periods this winter recovered. 

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Clints Quarry, Egremont

On the way back from St. Bees we popped into Clints Quarry at Egremont - I've never seen so many twayblade - huge stands of it, but the stars were the bee orchids.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

St. Bees headland

Today we walked from St Bees towards the lighthouse; the seabirds are all relatively late and the coastal flowers are fabulous. All the grasses are giving off substantial amounts of pollen!
Guillemots, shag, rookery of guillemots; razorbills.

Fabulous coastal flowers; sheep's bit scabious, thyme, harebells etc 

Lovely pebbles in Fleswick  bay - lying on the ripples of the sandstone bedding plains.

Waitby Greenriggs Reserve

On the way back we stopped off at Waitby Greenriggs which is well known for its orchids - many were past their best but just caught a fly orchid.

Smardale Gill Nature Reserve

Took Mum, Dad and Rocky down to Smardale - lovely day again with large numbers of northern brown argus on the wing. The common blues were very obliging when being photographed - unlike the northern brown argus which rarely settled.
Northern brown argus; burnet moth (I just liked the composition of the photo);
mating common blues; large skipper.

Smardale viaduct and water crowfoot.

A good day out for Rocky - he slept all evening! 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Last night's moths

Another great night for moths - Burt enjoyed helping! Will post about a superb trip to Smardale Gill nature reserve tomorrow!
Garden tiger; plain golden y; burnished brass; elephant hawk; grey dagger; pebble prominent. 

Burt - not helping!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Moth trapping continues.

With glorious weather a chance to keep seeing what moths are around.

Left to right and top to bottom;  iron prominent and sallow kitten; gold spangle; iron prominent;
gold spangle; the gothic; Lempke's gold spot. 

Hedgehog textile cards

The verges continue to blossom with a second flush of ragged robin in the shady backs of the ditches. The great burnet is fully out and sneezewort, a favourite of mine, is just coming out too. Rocky is content with shorter walks in this heat so played around developing the hedgehog card - I'll put that out in the autumn - can't believe I'm thinking about the autumn already!
Sneezewort, great burnet and ragged robin

Hedgehogs - the colours are much more vibrant than this but I had to photograph them in the shade because the light is so bright. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Moth trap splendour

For the uninitiated; we place a mercury vapour lamp outside the house on a white sheet over night. Moths fly in, attracted by the light and hide under egg crates which we place around the lamp. We can then identify and carefully release the moths in the morning. Last night we recorded 53 species.
From top to bottom, going left to right: burnished brass; golden Y; grey dagger;
Lemke's gold spot and goldspot; garden tiger; lesser swallow prominent;
white ermine and the miller. 

The spectacular poplar hawk moth.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Broomrapes and orchids - Maryport harbour

What a beautiful day. Squeezed a quick trip out to Maryport Harbour SSSI before the Wimbledon final - both fabulous!
Common broomrape and the far less common, purple or yarrow broomrape.

Pyramidal orchid - there were hundreds - quite literally; slightly gone - over
 northern marsh orchid; common-spotted orchid. 

Burnet moths were flitting everywhere; bloody crane's-bill; flowery grassland SSSI at Maryport harbour. 

...and of course Rocky!