Wednesday 11 August 2010

Nature! Huh! What is it good for?

The first day of August sees us down at the local nature reserve. At least I think that's where it is, because the habitat maintenance contractors have been in and, boy, does it look different. Whilst I won't claim that "habitat maintenance contractor" is an oxymoron, their work is often compared to that other great landscape improver, Genghis Khan. Finding a small corner that seems to have been accidentally left untouched by the Blitzkrieg, the Admiral, our lass and I busy ourselves searching for invertebrates recovering from PTSD.

OK, enough of the time-spanning military destruction metaphors.

Suddenly, the Admiral lets out a shout and points behind me. I turn round, half expecting to see Martin Sheen (stop it, now) but it's even more interesting than that. No helicopter gunships, no Wagner (oh for God's sake...!), but sitting on a Teasel head is a Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly, my first one. It doesn't stay long in one place, dodging from flower to flower, though the only things shooting at it are 3 cameras. However, you could hear Wrong Len laughing hysterically in the background.

Apparently, renegade lepidopterists have been releasing this species behind enemy lines, so its provenance is a little shaky, but this soldier ain't complainin'.

Further into the reserve, in another brashcutter-devastated area, we discover a Ruddy Darter that has attacked a Common Blue Damselfly, knocking it out of the air. The tussle lasts a few seconds and then the darter appears to lose interest. The damselfly eventually flies off, seemingly unharmed.

But what about the mental scars, eh?

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