In summers that have been…

Scabious, Yarrow and Wild Carrots, Durlston Country Park

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen, of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been; Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were, with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair. J.R.R. Tolkein Lord of The Rings

Wheatears feeding up on the plentiful supply of insects to be found in the Hawthorn scrub.

Watching the rain fall in early November whilst updating the blog and recording a few highlights from a mid August visit to Durlston Country Park and summer suddenly seems a long, long time ago. Perhaps the Wheatears had the right idea – overwintering in subtropical Africa does have a certain appeal.

Greater Knapweed

Despite the drought like conditions of mid-August a few of the tougher species to be found still in flower.

Carline Thistle, Durlston Country Park

Relatively common in the shallow soils towards the sea-cliffs the Carline Thistle tend to look dead at the best of times. Upon closer inspection the flowers have a passing resemblance to the Proteas of southern Africa.

Wheatear resting before continuing it’s long journey south.
Wall Brown basking on a drystone wall

Still a few Wall butterflies around however perhaps a little less common than in previous years. With a fondness for bare rocks and cow-pats the rough grassland of Durlston is ideal habitat.

Wall Brown
A tired and worn Marbled White,

Very few Marbled Whites around probably a bit late.

Old Man’s Beard

Covering almost every bit of scrub and drystone wall incredible to see how well Old Man’s Beard grows within the sun-baked, shallow soils.

Autumn Lady’s Tresses

A few early Autumn Lady’s Tresses beginning to appear. Normally difficult to see amongst the dry grassland on this occasion the green flowerstalks were unusually conspicuous.

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