Sunday, 15 May 2011


All I asked, was to go somewhere with a tea shop.
So Clun was chosen as it was somewhere we had driven through but never stopped to have a look around.
On our way we stopped off to take in the magnificent views from the Shropshire way, we just had to imagine how much better the views would have been if it hadn't been so cloudy and oh how my ears hurt by the time we returned to the car - such a cold wind why didn't I take a hat?

When we arrived in Clun, we headed straight for 'The Maltings' where we enjoyed a pot of tea and cake - slab of chocolate cake for Mr S, and scone with jam and cream for me, before heading up to the castle.
Clun Castle dates back to the early twelth century in the times of the Normans

Swift flying over the ruins
 As well as the screaching swifts which I heard before I spotted, there were also a handful of jackdaws flying around, and then while walking alongside the river Mr S disturbed this common blue butterfly hiding in the grass, it really wasn't warm enough for butterflies today and this was the only one we saw all day.

Common Blue
Polyommatus icarus

Common Blue
Polyommatus icarus

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Small Copper butterflies, Valerian and Guelder Rose

The cattle still haven't been brought onto the common this year and so as a consequence of the lack of grazing, we are enjoying a fantastic show of flowers.
Including this mass of Marsh Valerian.

Marsh Valerian
Valeriana dioica

Which appears to be a haven for small copper butterflies.

Small Copper
Lycaena phlaeas

Wind blown Cotton-grass


And in the hedge we found this stunning Guelder Rose, just starting to flower.

Guelder Rose
Viburnum opulus

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Don't mind me! I'll just hang around and spin my cocoon!...

Or at least I think that is what was happening here ...

on my breezy walk this afternoon I was absorbed watching this speckled wood butterfly

 when I saw something swing in front of my face. Once I managed to focus on it I was transfixed, watching it hanging from it's silk thread twisting it's way higher and higher into the branches of the overhanging oak tree.

Once it reached the height of the sheltering hedges on either side of the lane the caterpillar was swinging around far too vigorously to watch anymore.