With autumn now upon us it's time for a little reflection on the summer. Well it finally kicked-off for the dragons and butterflies, not before time either. However the joy for us this summer has been the spectacular show of flowers, especially orchids. Thousands of lesser butterfly and heath spotted in the Forest. Carpets of common spotted, pyramidal, fragrant, common twayblade, musk and a few violet helleborine gracing the grassland of Noar Hill - utter delight (it appears that the heavy duty munchers havn't trashed the reserve at all).
It's also been great to note that the local council have kept their mad mowers on a short leash this year and not cut every growing plant to within an inch of it's life. Leaving islands of colour and food for the inverts. Whether by luck or design, good on ya!
Butterfly tip. You know how purple hairstreaks prefer to frequent the tops of giant oaks and you need the use of an astral telescope to make them visible. Well the trick is, find a site where the oaks are stunted and the little beauties will perform their socks off in the tree tops thinking they are miles up, but are really only at our eye-level. Such a place is the Browndown Ranges - watch out for low-flying squadies though.
I've been revisiting old sketchbooks, reliving moments from my twitching days, for a large format art book to be published by The Langford Press in the spring 2014. Blimey what japes! Good fun at the time, but not so tempting these days.
Finally. I was watching the BBC morning news recently, supping me mug of tea. When I spotted one of my old interpretation panels being used to illustrate a feature on the lack of butterflies being seen this year. I was just about to boost to Rosie that my stuff was on't telly, when she piped up 'blimey they're desperate for some decent interpretation'.
Back to the day job!
If you're expecting words of wisdom from Dan and Rosemary you may be sadly disappointed. However, if you want to keep up to date with our current projects then pick up the feed at the top of this column.