Late Summer Bimbles

July, August and September were very busy months for me this year so I did not post up much about the bimbles around my local village of Bramley.

Part of this was due to receiving a rather lovely birthday present in September from my wife Alison of a new Nikon D3200 DSLR camera. I have never owned a camera that requires anything more than point and shoot before so I have spent many an evening reading up on it and practising.

Some of the pictures in this post have been taken with my Nokia phone and some with my new DSLR.

I have  put up just a few of the many pictures I have taken over the last two months and separated them into categories.

Butterflies

I am not that knowledgable about these lovely creatures so had to rely on a guide book to ID them. The three below from top left clockwise are a Comma Butterfly, a Marble White and a Silverwashed Fritillary. All were photographed in woodland glades enjoying the sunlight.

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Comma Butterfly, a Marble White and a Silverwashed Fritillary

Flowers

As usual flowers are my passion with the range of smells, colours and textures they offer. I am still confused by some flowers I find in and around the woods by our village – there must be lots of garden escapes. The yellow flower my daughter is looking at was a late bloomer; I could not identify it from my books but she liked it.

The cornflower is always a nice find but the most unusual I spotted was at The Vyne National Trust property on the outskirts of Bramley. The little flower on the bottom right was sitting on top of a perfectly manicured hedge and was too good a shot to miss.

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Cornflower (bottom left) and two unknowns

Two beautiful plants for late summer are Woundwort and Borage. Both plants have been used medicinally in the past, for treating cuts and kidney problems respectively.

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Woundwort and Borage

Ok not a flower but the flowering heads of the hogweed when caught at the right angle and light turn into a thing of beauty.

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The majestic hogweed

Fruits and nuts

I luckily have a local woodland next to me that has a carpet of wild strawberries. In the summer it was great to see these little red berries appearing and getting to nibble the odd one before the birds or slugs got to them. I managed to photograph far more hazlenuts this year (bottom left) before the squirrels snaffled them all. I don’t know if that was because I was really looking for them, there were more than usual, there were fewer squirrels about, or a combination of all of the above. As usual though there were plenty of horse chestnuts for my kids to collect. My rucksack always ended up being full of them every time I took the kids out.

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Wild Strawberries, Hazelnuts and Horse Chestnuts

Finlay spotted the apple tree in full bloom and was soon scrumping for apples in its branches. I took the bottom shot as I really liked the contrast of red and green with the rosehips and apples, both beautiful and full of vitamin C.

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Scrumping for apples through the rosehips

Leaves

I have been watching the leaves grow all year and now into the autumn I am watching them start to die off. They can be quite striking though at times with the higgeldy piggeldy white trail of the larvae from the moth larvae Nepticula aurella. A hazel leaf (bottom picture) may seem quite boring to look at first but if you put it to the light and peer closely then you see a whole new world.

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Leaves up close

Seeds

The wood aven flower is a lovely yellow colour and the plant has many uses but the flower only lasts a few months. To know it all year round you need to recognise the shape of its leaves and also the spiky seed head it produces (top left). Once you have identified one you will see them all over the place.
I like to peer inside the little capsules containing the bluebell seeds just before they fall apart and drop their seeds (bottom left). This is a second period of beauty to me with this plant, often overlooked by most people. I have no idea what the seed pod in the top right is from (taken in my garden) but it is striking.

The last one at the bottom right shows the seeds from the willowherb starting to unfurl.

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Seeds – Woodaven, Bluebells, Willowherb and one unknown (top right)

I could not resist putting this picture of the willowherb up on its own as it captures the moment the little hairs with their attached seeds are just starting to float off.

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The beauty of a Willowherb seed pod unfurling

I came across this little chap (not my son) Mr Squirrel (though it could have been Mrs Squirrel) lying in the leaf litter on one walk with Finlay. Over a number of weeks we would see this little chap slowly decomposing and both Finlay and myself found it totally fascinating.

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Mr Squirrel returning to the earth

Insects

Over the summer I have been trying to get some good macro shots of insects and I was particularly impressed with the spider in the top left picture. I took this one with my new camera as well as the honeybee (I think that is what it is) at the bottom right. The other two were captured using my Nokia phone camera.

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Up close and personal with the insects

This little packet of pink madness is the red gall of the gall wasp. I found it hanging off a bramble branch and was very confused to what it was at first until I had looked it up. I will be looking out for more of them next year when I will hopefully have some extension tubes for my camera lens so as to take far better macro pictures.

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The red gall of the gall wasp

A last little look at the beauty of the small fly and the daddy long legs.

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The fly and daddy long legs

My last picture is of one of the few ground-dwelling fungi I spotted over the summer. As far as I am concerned it is an LBJ (Little Brown Jobbie): I do not study these little critters enough to identify the different types of LBJs. I liked this one for the forlorn look it had sitting on its own on the woodland floor after something or someone had snapped it.

Thankfully as autumn has progressed more and more fungi have started to pop up all over the woods which I can identify.

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An early dejected looking LBJ

I had a great summer photographing around my village and look forward to getting some great pictures as the autumn comes to a close and winter sets in.

Cheers

George

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