Sunday, 19 July 2009

Silver Washed Fritillaries

Today, Sunday, we had a gathering in Rainbow Wood. We invited a bunch of different friends over for morning coffee and fruit cake (bought at the Henfield summer fair and made by the WI - and it was delicious). We lit a fire and kept it stoked to boil the kettle.

The morning promised to stay wet, but after an early shower or two the wind picked up slightly and the sun came out. The extra bit of warmth provided by the sunshine soon had the silver washed fritillaries on the wing (picture on the left). There were plenty of other butterflies, too - among them we saw red admirals.

The ash we felled earlier this year has bounced back with lots of new shoots - some of which are now about 1 metre high, and hopefully, will soon be out of reach of browsing roe deer.

We also have Enchanter's Nightshade Circaea Lutetiana with its irridescent white flowers.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Wet Weekend

Well!! So much for the best laid plans of mice and mortals. We had planned for several weeks to make the weekend of 11th and 12th July a camping weekend. My brother Julian, his kids and a friend Steve, with his kids, were going to spend a fun weekend in Rainbow Wood. From very early on in the week, our plans looked spoiled as the weather folks kept showing this swirling mass of rain and cloud, followed by a cold front, sweeping in from the Atlantic. The moment of decision arrived, and a few phone calls later everyone had been told - camping is definitely off!

It started to rain in the early evening of Friday; drizzle at first, later turning to quite heavy rain. The floor of Rainbow Wood would be getting squelchy, the trees would be getting heavy with water drops and the fire wood for our camp would be taking on the burning characteristics of damp asbestos.

Saturday's weather didn't improve. Drizzle all day, which was occasionally relieved by heavier downpours. However, not to be defeated, Jill and I got the chainsaw out at home and finished cutting the ash we had felled earlier in the year into woodburner sized chunks. The pile grew quickly and we even managed to get it all into our wood store at the top of our garden. (Our wood store is an ancient Andersen shelter from World War II, which would have been capable of supporting a family of four during air raids.)