30 days of wild: day 23-water ripples

When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?

Ralph Marston

Across the road from work is the Beverley and Barmston drain. There have been lots of ducks recently. The children have been coming into school excited to talk about them. I hadn’t been over to investigate this area since starting my new job.

The drain has a slope of a few metres down to it. The banks are lined with wildflowers: nettles, cowparsley, buttercups, thistles and grasses. The water is pretty static, thus the green algae buildup. The lines through it are the trails of ducks.

It’s a perfect habitat for a whole variety of species. I saw ducks and moorhens nesting on the water. Housemartins swooped over the path coming down from the trees. Various insects flitted around the wilderness that has been allowed to grow a little way along.

Bindweed covers a section with its lovely white blooms. 

Buttercups and clover fill the space around the path low down. Not the most exciting finds, but adds to my species count for the Great British Wildflower Hunt.

The nettles were hosting lots of ladybird pupae. At a guess I’d say harlequin ladybirds. An invasive species, but the main type of ladybird I see these days. The little black and orange curls gripping onto leaves.

I saw one hatched ladybird yet to get its spots. Though that sounds rather like a Rudyard Kipling Just So Story. How the ladybird got its spots. When ladybirds emerge they are generally yellow and then change over their first day.

Then I had one last discovery. A butterfly I wasn’t aware of in the area, the ringlet. While probably not considered a rare find I’ll admit to still being filled with joy to see it settle near me.

Butterfly Conservation describes it as “conservation priority: low”. This discouraging description puts me rather in mind of the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxies description of Earth, “harmless”. While it might be common it excited me as I haven’t taken a photo of one before.

4 thoughts on “30 days of wild: day 23-water ripples”

  1. I have been watching ringlets for a couple of years on my patch too and every year it fills me with joy to “spot the difference” when they emerge and are bobbing around near Meadow Browns. I think (but can’t verify) that they fly in a different way to Meadow Browns although I try to get close up to see the pattern of rings. It’s interesting what priorities are in conservation isn’t it?

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