Starting this on Saturday the Second of October.
I’ve no idea when I’ll publish it (you will of course know by now).
Friday the first of October
Every day I walk anticlockwise from the south east halfway round the pond and up the canal at least as far as the 20 mile stone before, usually, heading to town for the shops.
Here you’ll find a map of the Pond and the canal with some of my walks shown. There are pictures attached to a few of the walks and I might add more as time goeth by.
All around the pond are brambles, with blackberries when in season.
Speaking of seasons: ’tis now spider season – there are loads of ’em around.
I have found, in fact you might say stumbled on, a couple of wasp nests.
The first was at ///funds.each.pepper on the rugby field beneath a bramble bush which I found while looking at alder beetles. The second at ///branch.glitz.notion in the pathway through a grassy meadow.
The picture shows the entrance, in a mole’s or mouse’s hole, with obstructions being removed by its occupants
The second of these, pictured above, I found initially by accident. I followed a dim track through grass to see if any blackberries remained on some brambles. Returning I stood on the nest! one of the wasps scooted up my trouser leg and stuck its stinger in just above my ankle. I shook the beast out -I’ll swear it was at least three inches long* – and hopped on my way. The pain was with me for a week – not recommended.
*Exaggeration for effect
Autumn is of course the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (did Keats for Eng Lit ‘O’ level*) and I find both of these worthy of a few kilobytes of camera memory. Rose hips are quite plentiful, shining out in the remaining greenery of the dog rose bushes while a few, very few, mallow flowers still attract pollinators – there’s a fly in one of the blooms that I didn’t see until the pic was on my screen. The cow parsley seed head has surrendered all its load to the wind, birds and mice.
*Sixty plus years ago but some stuff sticks.
I have a liking for dock bugs. No idea why, I just have. Here’s one actually on its name plant.
I mentioned the 20 mile stone earlier, well here it is. I always scatter some seed on it and occasionally hang about to see what ensues.
There is a cluster of alder trees on the rugby field – they were covered in alder beetles earlier in the year but now there are few.
All these ladybirds are the same species despite their disparate appearances: they are all harlequins. They were on the brambles beneath which is the other wasp nest.
Originally from Asia, the harlequin ladybird first arrived in the UK in 2004, and has rapidly become one of the most common ladybirds in the country, particularly in towns and gardens. It is one of our larger species and is a voracious predator – it is able to out-compete our native species for aphid-prey and will also eat other ladybirds’ eggs and larvae. It can have multiple broods throughout the spring, summer and autumn, which also gives it a competitive edge. They are extremely variable, with up to 19 black spots on a red or orange background. There is a melanic form, with two or more red spots on a black background. The head has an obvious white triangle in the centre, something that neither of the other two similarly sized species have. Wildlife Trusts
Clouds are quite fascinating, unless they form a grey blanket across the whole sky. Fluffy white ones can be rather pretty.
There was a couple (should that be were a couple?) of girls – young women might be a better description – really enjoying paddleboarding up the canal. They were about to get out to portage around Morse Lock.
Vandalism has resulted in the cricket ground fence losing its top two panels at one point. Who knew that there were rabbits?
I didn’t have time to switch to video when I saw the cygnets taking what must have been one of their first flights across the pond. The parents were accompanying them, presumably to show them how to do it. I snapped a load of pics and was able to make this rather poor ‘GIF’.
Mum and dad had a little congratulatory smooch after the landing.