Greendale Wood

Had an enjoyable evening "walk"(273m) arranged by Clitheroe Naturalists around Greendale Wood, Grindleton. I think the poor weather forecast put people off as only three of us turned up. The weather threatened all the time with the odd spot of rain and roll of thunder but we managed a good couple of hours searching for plants, insects and birds. We now have a nice initial list of species that hopefully will allow naturalists in 20, 50 or even 100 years time to see how the woodland has changed and developed over time. More importantly for me I got to see some really lovely insects. All identifications are merely my best stab at it, please feel free to say if they are wrong.
Forest Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes (final instar) found feeding on Hazel.

Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius these were abundant on nettles and other vegetation

Flower bugs Grypocoris stysi feeding on hogweed

Capsus ater found feeding low down on grass stem

Liophloeus tessulatus found feeding on nettle stem

Bluebells Spring Wood


On Friday evening we went for a walk around Spring Wood in Whalley, the bluebells were fantastic and the wild garlic is starting to show too.
The pond we made from an old header tank with the holes filled in has been a great hit with the frogs, there were four in it this afternoon. We think they are avoiding all the rowdy teenagers (tadpoles) in the main pond. There are lots of jobs to do in the garden now so the only one who gets to sit down and enjoy the warmth is the cat. Its a hard life.










Elizabeth Mills 2017-04-24 16:37:00

While out walking noticed lots of bees buzzing around a sandy bank. I think they are Ashy Mining bees.There was also another different type of bee but it flew into its hole and wouldn't come out again, just kept coming to the entrance to peer at me.





There were fights to mate with females going on.


Love to know what this is.




A beautiful day in the Forest of Bowland

We went for a walk around Stocks reservoir and then up to Cross o Greets.We could hear lots of male toads croaking for females and some females with males clinging to their backs were heading for the water. I had some dried up honey in the cupboard and put it out for early flying Queen bumblebees and wasps, this one seems to have the same approach as I have with cake - in with the face and begin.



Toads are gathering to spawn up at Stocks Reservoir

Fantastic views - Cross o Greets

Fields are filling up with lambs

The day ended with a lovely sunset

I bet the honey tasted good after hibernating all winter

and someones creaky old bones probably feel a lot better.

Cat portrait

Decided to have a go at drawing Cat's portrait using Derwent Studio coloured pencils, I just haven't used them for a long time and thought it would make a change from acrylic painting. I graphed Cat out as I was worried I'd lose my place with his markings. I've managed to make him look a lot sterner than he really is, he's a big softie - although the mice in the barn probably think differently.












Portrait in progress

I've taken some photos as I did Sam the Border Collies portrait. I used Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic paints - Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna and Alizarin Crimson Hue Permanent. I thinned the paints with water and Cryla Flow Enhancer. The portrait is painted onto Daler Rowney Studland Mountboard.







Elizabeth Mills 2016-11-02 21:12:00

Up to now Autumns making quite a spectacle of itself, the trees glow beautifully in the late afternoon sun and slime moulds and fungi are making surprise appearances in the fields. The oaks seem to have produced a really good crop of acorns this year, the fieldfares and redwings are back and every evening the starlings fly over us on their way to roost.

Slime mould ?

Fungi in field

Autumn leaves

Spangle galls

Murmuration  on the way home

Autumnal butterflies

There is a definite nip in the air first thing in the morning and last thing at night but midday is as hot as any summer day we've had and the butterflies and bees are making the most of late flowering blooms to prepare for hibernation. My garden might be looking a bit past its best but theres still lots of lovely colour to make the most of and gladden the heart.






Flies

The garden is full of flies, hoverflies and bees, they are especially fond of the marjoram and thyme and we noticed this fantastic fly looking more like a bumblebee. We think its Tachina grossa apparently it takes caterpillars for its young to feed on. Lovely.


Update - I now have a pet fly! Like bees it love s sugar water.



Elizabeth Mills 2016-07-21 21:34:00

We recycled old tractor tyres to make into flower beds and the wildflowers have really romped away. The little pond we made from an old water cistern has two resident frogs and a visiting toad who like to sit in the cool shade near it.

Cornfield wildflower mix in tractor tyre filled with molehills.

Looks so relaxing!

Wildflowers love the gravelly area under the trees.

Friends of Bowland walk

Friends of Bowland organized a "Wildlife Wander" from Cross of Greets bridge. The weather fined up and it was lovely and sunny which brought out the grasshoppers, dragonflies and beetles. Lots of Meadow Pipits and Whinchats and possibly saw a Hen Harrier circling above. Found Bog Asphodel and Sundews.