Late summer visitors

I am sitting enjoying some late summer sunshine and what gorgeous days we have been enjoying. Before I tell you about some visitors that came to stay I would love tell you about last Thursday when Peter and family came to tea. I opened the door and was greeted by Alice and Matilda standing close to each other with cheery smiles upon their faces. As they separated I saw why, there was little Daniel in his school uniform, it was his first week in reception class.img_9200-daniel

All was going well, he was enjoying school and I am certain school will have been enjoying him…long may it last!

I skip now quickly past Friday, (most of which was spent power hosing the garden patio and stones) past Saturday (rain, rain and more rain) too much later Saturday evening when our visitors arrived. My brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Judy. Only time really for some quick catching up before we were all turning in for the night ready for what promised to be sunny Sunday.

The weather forecast did not lie, it was a beautiful day, hot and sunny all day. We had decided to go up to Cley-next-the-sea and we parked in the main car park.img_9283-us-on-east-bankWe walked to the East bank and right along it ending up at the sea. There was no shortage of butterflies, mostly white and Tortoiseshells, also pleanty of hoverflies.

The colours along the way were just beautiful and although there were not a great many birds what we saw we appreciated.

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Back to the visitors centre where we stopped for lunch out on the raised patio still enjoying the beautiful September weather. We decided to head to Blakeney next where we walked along the sea wall, a beautiful Wheatear dropped by.

Not sure what this little building was or is but it certainly is in a smashing location.

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By now the heat was telling us it was time to head off, not for home but to Janice and Chris’ for a very welcome BBQ, all in all an excellent day!

Monday morning and we were having a visit from the tree surgeons, as promised they arrived at 8 am and got straight on with the job. A couple of hours later and trees were down or lopped, logs where cut and they were off leaving us with the rest of the day free. Moths and the hot tub called so we were all getting on with what ever we chose. This Speckled bush-cricket was found not in but near to the moth trap.

After an early lunch we headed straight out to Lynford water and the arboretum. We saw butterflies. including this small copper butterfly, dragon and damselflies

and I was particularly pleased with this one that landed on Alan’s hat!

img_9415-banded-demoiselle-femA female demoisel, we have seen lots of the males this year but this was the first female we have been aware of. The real treat of the day was seeing a slow-worm, it was anything butslow as it slithered off the path just in front of us but no chance of a picture.

This morning we set off for Castle acre priory, the first time Alan and Judy had been there and it is fair to say they were impressed. It really is an excellent place, (looked after by English Heritage), there are still plenty of remains to explore.

Also lovely grounds which provide shelter for all sorts of wildlife, including this tortoishell butterfly almost hidden in the dry leaves and this Buzzard out in the open for all to see!

Having just recently started a very small herb garden I love to see the very established one at the priory. img_9543-piroryherb-garden

Whilst looking around it we found several interesting little creatures! These included several garden spiders, a Silver Y moth and a Speckled wood butterfly.

 

But I made my best find whilst looking at the Silver Y, deeper down in the lavender plant I found this little beauty!img_9552-rainbow-leaf-beetle

It is a Chrysolina Americana or a Rosemary leaf beetle which may be a little easy to pronounce and remember! It is about the size of a Ladybird and really is a stunner although I read that it is a pest!

Time to leave the priory and head home for lunch before saying goodbye to Judy. Other comitments mean she must head home but Alan is staying on for another couple of days to see how many more moths we can find him, he has had over 20 new ones so far since he arrived! If we are really fortunate we might even find some birds.img_9513-us-at-castle-acre-priory

When the heat of the day has passed we may head out for a stroll locally and see what is lurking in the churchyard, but for now it is time to realx with a refreshing drink!

 

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Happy birthday to me!

Another birthday and I am thankful to be here to enjoy it, in good health. When I hear people moan about growing old it always makes me feel a bit cross as the alternative is to die young and I know which I vote for! So 65 has arrive is just fine with me, after all it does come as I am mid way through my free and easy year out!

We are intending to return to Scotland soon probably via the Lake District but are waiting to hear a date before we book anything. Therefore we hadn’t planned anything to celebrate, well to be quite honest we don’t usually go overboard on these occasions.

No exciting birds to go in search of but it was a beautiful morning so we decided to go for a walk in search of butterflies but not until we had checked the moth trap. I got some good birthday gifts in the trap today with a few life ticks! This large emerald is lovely as is the Lilac beauty which was new for the garden.

More treats include Satin moth which was only our second and new for this year and Engrailed which was another life tick and we nearly missed it as we found it later lurking on the shed wall!

It is many years since we last visited Castle acre priory and decided that today was the day to return, last time we went Andrew and Rachel were over from the States and came too, shame they couldn’t today!IMG_6810 Castle acre priory

We were so pleased that we went. it was a beautiful day for a walk and we found a few butterflies too! Our first find wasn’t a butterfly but a moth, a hummingbird hawkmoth, sadly this is the best of a very bad batch of pictures. They move so quickly that when I looked a the pictures I found many blurry, indistinguishable blob!IMG_6895 Hummingbird hawkmothHe was enjoying the lavender in the beautiful herb garden which was another bonus for me. I am just in the process of making a little herb garden at home so it was good to see what they had and chat to Jenny who was working hard in the garden. Yesterday I eventually caught up with my good friend Francesca and saw her beautiful herb garden. I came home not only inspired but hopeful that I might get a few cutting from her plants.

Back to the priory and our walk where enjoyed looking at the ruined building whilst looking out for wildlife.

We saw a Common darter dragonfly and our first large skipper butterfly along with plenty of ringlets, tortoiseshell and meadow browns.

My birthday was going well, do I look a year older?!!! The sun was still shining but we had somewhere else to be so off we went. IMG_6861 us

We popped home for a very quick lunch as we were soon heading out again to our village school. They have recently become part of an acadamy and today was the official launch, we wanted to be there to celebrate with them; it was a lovely occasion and we were pleased to have been there.

Back home as Janice and Chris were dropping in to bring birthdya greetings, they brought a rather nice plant too, thank you! We were just enjoying a cuppa when Peter arrived with the three children, birthday hugs… lovely.

More moths to see and new ones at a that,  Coronet and Small yellow wave.

Ian is busy in the kitchen cooking a nice meal to finish my birthday. Thank you for those that have sent greetings in any form, I am looking forward to seeing what the year ahead brings.