Thursday, 30 June 2016

Bascote (wasp nests and orchids)



Pyramidal orchid at Stockton Cuttings on Thursday



We have to be a bit careful when letting Buddy out at the moment as we never know when our neighbours', Blair and Liz, chickens are on the towpath.  He is very good and comes when called but I wouldn’t trust him on his own with them (Buddy that is, not our current neighbour).

The cock with one of the hens on Tuesday morning outside our boat


We are having our house in Kent re-tiled over the next few weeks; perfect timing for our tenants so it’s done before the school holidays and definitely before winter.  Mind you, the rain we’ve had over the last few days has made it feel like it is winter.

Just started removing the old Kent peg tiles from one roof


We get at least one wasp nest a year in the roof so knew the roofers would find the evidence.  At least the wasps have all been exterminated and hopefully having a new roof including felting etc. will mean fewer chances of wasps in the future.  It should definitely mean no more damp patches inside 

One of the wasp nests John’s team has found so far


Tuesday and Wednesday were so wet that I had to wear wet weather gear when Buddy and I went for our morning bike ride and our afternoon walk.  It did mean that very few boats were on the move but that also meant that it was extremely busy on Thursday.

We cycled up to Stockton Cuttings on Thursday morning and on the way bumped into Rob Pearson, a boater friend on his boat Hekla.  His wife, Lesley, is an artist and they live on their boat visiting festivals around the country as they operate it as a pop-up art gallery. They were moored just round the corner but were heading off during the day.

When we got to the cuttings the summer orchids were in full bloom – a Pyramidal orchid is at the top of the page.

A forest of Common Spotted orchids


Close up of a Common Spotted orchid

There were plenty of butterflies around too and I saw my first Marbled Whites of the year.  Not easy to get a picture of them and the photographs never do their dark cream colours any justice as they always look dull white.  Despite their name they are actually members of the Brown family of which there are ten other species in the UK.  Three of them, the Scotch Argus, the Large Heath and the Small Mountain Ringlet, can only be found in the Lake District and Scotland and I have yet to see any of them (the Large Heath can also be found in Wales). The other eight species are relatively common and I tend to see all of them every year.

Marbled White


Ringlet – another member of the Brown family and very common and widespread at this time of year



I also saw some Common Blues – some were freshly emerged and a couple were really tatty that had obviously been around a few weeks now.

Male Common Blue


Tatty female Common Blue


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