Sunday, July 22, 2007

Orchard Pool

Last weekend I got caught out by the weather. The weather forecast was for a better morning and then rain in the afternoon. I woke to cloudy skies and a cool breeze. I suppose given the last few weeks this could be construed as better weather, but it wasn't what I had in mind. Having finally bought a DSLR camera body (but no lenses yet) I had arranged to meet Chris and try one of his before deciding whether to buy a prime lens - or to use that same money to buy a new car!! Ok, not quite but a couple of grand does make you want to get it right.

We went over the water to Severnside in the hope of some gulls to try flight shots, but the few birds that were around were firmly rooted to the ground, other than some house martins that were going so fast in the wind that I doubt I could have laid a lens on them.

Disappointed we decided to head for a local pond - the orchard pool. I'd often seen it mentioned on the severnside birds website, but hadn't known where it was. Turned out to be a pleasant enough spot to while away a few hours, try some shots with a lens ........... and get sunburnt as the sun came out and stayed out for the day. Another lesson learned was to pack my polarising filter, but who expects sun in July?

Other than a green woodpecker that kept it's distance there weren't many birds around, but there were some wild flowers and insects. [I'm trying my best with insects and some flowers to get the naming right, but bear with me if I get it wrong - and please let me know via the comments so that I can learn. I may also start taking some plant field guides with me, but you end up carting so much stuff]

Musk mallow

musk mallow and Oedemera nobilis

Wild carrot and Ichneumon suspiciosus

(I have previously lamented my ability to tell umbellifer flowers apart,
but the key to the wild carrot is the red or purple flower in the centre -
at least I can get one right.)

Green shield bug on an umbellifer seedhead (hogweed?)


Meadow cranesbill

Greater knapweed

Great willowherb

Lady's bedstraw

(an interesting plant historically - it used to be used for stuffing mattresses,
said to smell of new mown hay as it dries)

The next plant really threw me for a little while - the shape was familiar, but were these fabulous rich burgundy structures flowers?

Then I found a younger plant and realised they were just the empty calyces of a flower related to one we grow in the garden ...........

Self-heal (Prunella)

The Cinnabar - moth caterpillar


(Apologies for the grass blade - I even considered trying to photoshop it out,
but this is never going to be more than a record snap, so I didn't waste the time!)

Common carpet

This next insect has beaten my best efforts to identify it from my couple of books at home, but it was quite striking - so if you know please let me know!

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