July 2005
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A Red Admiral butterfly drinking!Walking down the cattle-drive at the start of one of my walks around our "Nature Trail" as we have come to call it, I came across this Red Admiral Butterfly.

As there was no obvious sign of any nectar for it to be feeding on I assume that it was drinking, although I have to question its choice of water source - a cow pat!!!

A Gatekeeper buterflyA little further down, and with obviously better taste was this Gatekeeper butterfly.

Many regard the appearance of this butterfly as a sign that summer has truly arrived.

It can be found feeding on the flowers of the likes of bramble which can be found blossoming in the hedgerows at this time of the year.

A Green-veined ButterflyThe final butterfly on this trip is the Green-veined white.

It can be easily identified from the network of greenish / gray veins that can be seen on the under-wings of the butterfly.

The pale yellow background colour of the wing also help to distinguish it.

A dragonfly with "Day-Glow" wings?A little further on down by the River Dane I spotted this dragonfly darting around looking for food.

I like the orange "Day-Glow" wings. This is a trick of the light, as you can guess.

It is a type of dragonfly known as a Brown Hawker. It can be identified by its brown colour and distinctive yellow thoracic stripes.

Banded damselflies dancing over waterRelated to the dragonflies although not as fearsome looking are the Damselflies.

In this photograph a group of male Banded Damselflies (also known as Demoiselles) dance entertainingly over the surface of the River Dane.

They derive their name from the males dark wing patch.

A TeaselSpeaking of fearsome looking, this strange plant is the Teasel.

The picture shows the flower head just prior to the flowers emerging. They are a lilac-blue colour and with just a casual glance can be easily mistaken for a thistle.

The Teasel is what is known as a biennial plant. That is to say that it germinates in the first year, before flowering, fruiting and dying in the second year.

Haymowing and Grass pollenIn the Heifer Meadow. Mr Hough, Phil's father in law, was busy mowing for haymaking.

The dusty appearance of the image is due to the large amounts of grass pollen being released as the tractor and the mower disturb the grasses.

Many people are to a greater or lesser extent allergic to pollen, and this time of year can be very distressing to those most sensitive to it.

Jenny WrenThe above photograph was taken through a gap in the hedge and while I was there I was joined by this wren.

I don't know which of us was most surprised by each others presence, but at least it stayed still long enough for me to snap a photograph of it.


A jeweled fungi?As I was about to move from my hiding place, a glance upwards revealed this amazing jewel encrusted fungi growing from a branch of the tree that I was stood under.

Like the image of the dragonfly with the "day-glow" wings this is a trick of the light.

Close-up of the fungi's jewels.In this case it is the light from the cameras flash that causes the effect.

The close-up on the right shows that the "jewels" are in fact droplets of a sap like substance that is being exuded from the pores on the underside of the fungi.

I think that it could be tree sap but don't take my word for it.

A Dryads Saddle fungiA little farther along and still on the topic of fungi, I found this "Dryads Saddle".

It recieved this name due to its saddle like shape looking like a seat for a woodland fairy or dryad.

This is actually an edible fungi and when young is quite tasty (Warning: I am not an expert when it comes to fungi. ALWAYS obtain expert advice before you pick and eat ANY fungi that you may find.)

Ducks and Chicks from Cheshire ShowFinally if you have read Phil's June report you may have noticed a picture of some baby ducks and chicks that he brought back from the Cheshire Show in order to take them round on school visits and such like.

Well this last photograph shows that they are doing well and are not so little now. In fact by the time you have read this report they will be almost fully grown.

Regards for now

Andy (aka Webby)



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