Autumn Walks

For most of the lockdown period I have been trying to make sure that I go for at least one decent walk a day. Initially, and throughout the summer, I adopted the habit of going out after work which gave me quite a nice break between working and not working.

With the start of the school term, I swapped this around and started taking a walk first thing in the morning. This meant that I was out of the way while the kids were getting up and ready for school. You may have noticed the occasional sunrise photo that resulted from this.

Now, with the days becoming shorter, it’s getting a little too dark to be trudging around a forest at 7:00 in the morning and, as of last week, I have started switching things around again.

Everything is a lot more colourful just before lunchtime.

Water playgrounds and hobbit holes

Back in July, I joked about hobbits moving in to the area. That location is actually a nature playground, and it has recently opened.

The playground is part of a visitors centre that also incorporates a kids-friendly walk, a beautifully renovated 17th Century watermill — which now contains a bar — and a recently restored small lake. It’s going to great when summer comes around.

When I walked by though it was, inevitably enough, raining.

Smeagol does now have a door fitted, so he won’t get too wet, but I think he’s going to need a bit of grass to grow before his hole starts to feel like a home.

That said, I did cross the bridge, which (luckily) wasn’t as slippery as I had initially feared.

Sunrise

I told you I’d be around for a sunrise.

That moment, early in the morning, when the fog lifts and the sun starts to rise can be truly spectacular.

It’s peaceful, too. No-one is daft enough to be outside at this time in the morning apart from me and a few dog walkers.

Autumn Clouds

I meant to post this last week, but things kept getting away from me. Better late than never, I suppose.

It’s autumn and I was very impressed when I stepped outside on Monday morning to find that the weather had immediately turned both foggy and cold. It also created something of a dilemma for me because, while it’s cold when I step outside, I’m reasonably warm once I’ve been walking for an hour.

So do I wear a coat, knowing I will be far too warm by the time I get home or shiver a bit when I set out in nothing more than a sweater. Both choices are less than optimal — I expect I shall just have to wait until it’s a bit colder and I no longer have to worry about trivia such as this.

Still, the morning walk remains refreshing and, as the days get shorter, I realise that it won’t be long before I will be both able to see the sunrise and able to appreciate it (as long as I don’t have to start commuting again next month).

I’m looking forward to this.

Optimism

While out walking this morning, I almost walked into a spider’s web which had been spun across the footpath. The spider responsible was dangling from a tree and, while I have to respect her optimism, I’m not entirely convinced that she could have managed a human sized meal.

On the subject of not being entirely convinced, Waarnemingen tells me that this is almost certainly an Araneus diadematus, also known as a European garden spider. I don’t know a lot but I do know that this species normally has cross-shaped markings across it’s back — and this is something I couldn’t see while waving my camera around in the middle of a field.

So if anyone out there is better able to identify this, or knows anything that I don’t (which is most people), please do leave a comment.

Gatekeeper

Also known as the hedge brown.

With today being both the end of August and the end of the school holidays (not a coincidence), I suspect this will be the last bug photo that I manage for a while. It’s been interesting, though and I have enjoyed finding, photographing and atttempting to identify the various wee beasties that I encounter on my daily walk. So I should thank Claudette for having come up with the GOMA idea in the first place.

We’ll see what, if anything, I find as Autumn draws in.

Not a dragonfly

The heatwave has finally abated and I no longer have an excuse for avoiding a daily walk. Which is lucky because it allowed me the opportunity to see this little guy, which the ObsIdentify app identified as a Blue Featherleg with 100% confidence.

blue-featherleg

This would make it a damselfly, and not a dragonfly as I had initially assumed. Clearly, I still know nothing.

Of frogs and beetles

Another heatwave is upon us and I should probably be staying in the shade rather than obsessively meeting my daily exercise target. But if I had stayed indoors, I wouldn’t have seen this guy sunning himself.

Frog783

This sent me down something of an internet rabbit hole. While the French are normally famous for eating frogs legs, I remember seeing somewhere that archaeological evidence points to the English having come up with this idea first — by a few thousand years. While trying to confirm this, I came across something much better.

When This Beetle Gets Eaten by a Frog, It Heads for the ‘Back Door’

Here’s the proof. You have been warned.