Friday 6th July and the great Scottish Summer continues. Can't remember why Mary had the day off but we drove down to Gullane for the usual Saturday route, and what with all the sunshine, it was just brilliant. First stop was to jetwash the Berlingo ahead of it's MOT on Monday. The excellent news was it got through with a minimum of cash, possibly less than either of the previous 2 years, so we can now uncross our fingers and breath a sigh of relief.
The Open was just about to kick off. I will see as much of that as I did of the world cup football. Which could be rounded down to none. I suppose it (the Open) brings money into the local community and no doubt is good for the economy but when I see rows of white BMW courtesy cars lined up I can't help but feel the place is likely to be invaded by a bunch of badly dressed tossers from a different planet with values so different from mine there is just no common ground. Still at least England got flushed down the WC before the media coverage became (more!) intolerable. I don't hate the team or manager, just the constant and banal media hype, which if they had won, would be unimaginable. Bullet dodged! It does seem to be a very lucky summer.
Small Tortoiseshell freshly out the box.
What do you mean they don't come in boxes? Next you'll be saying they aren't made from tortoises? Then there are my newest pair of Speedgoat 2s. I apologise for the colour which I will be hurrying to dip in mud. The website turned down the colour making them look black and turquoise, check this out here. I don't blame them! However this is my 4th pair of speedgoat2s and they are are a great shoe (despite the colour!). Ideal for the Scurry to the Sea next weekend. Grippy but cushioned.
It has been a superb Summer for the wildlife. I have seen numerous new species and many more of the usual suspects than in the last few years. It's as if they knew. I suspect it is more just them taking advantage of ideal conditions. I am trying to do the same. I was very pleased to see many more Dark green fritillaries than normal and suspected this might be the last weekend. They were beginning to look a little tired round the edges and less brightly coloured. On the upside a big happy welcome to the Small Skipper! A relative newcomer to this part of the world these are so much cuter than their relatives the Large Skipper even though they are nearly identical. I was totally uplifted to see loads of them on the fairly anonymous ground immediately over the bridge to enchantment. They were all over the flowers, nectaring, and buzzing about each other looking to hook up. And not particularly skittish or frightened of the camera. I had forgotten just how delightful these dainty little creatures are.
Lots over by butterfly corner, along with blues and DGFs. Which is quickly recovering from the ranger and his pals sawing down and burning the Sea Buckthorn there at the end of last season. I feared they had destroyed a special corner where the butterflies gathered, however the nettles and thistles that attract the butterflies are bouncing back fine. I doubt the wisdom of cutting back the Buckthorn and I hope it didn't damage the butterfly eggs and larvae there too much, but hopefully in the next month or 2 we will see a return to something like last year's community of RAs, Peacocks, Commas and Small Torts.
This dgf was unmoved by my presence and continued to gather nectar in the late afternoon sun while I took a load of photos. I was very pleased although this was offset by Mary having left a while back and that I should probably not keep her waiting toooooo long. Oh alright just another photo...
I actually saw a small skipper chasing a fritillary which had had the cheek to fly over the skipper's airspace. Go yourself little guy! Aren't they cute?!
hay fever anyone?
time to fly
6 spot burnet moth
2 six spots and a cantharid beetle
a ghostly Painted Lady half transparent after a long journey?
hands up if you're having fun!