Saturday, 29 July 2017

Insects and churches what a mix !


As well as all things nature I like looking at Old buildings especially Churches, after our trip to Edinburgh the interest has grown, not to everybody taste but with my best friend Ragged Robbin   we have joyed discovering history in the churches and villages we visit were we each live.

I have lived in West Yorkshire over 20yrs and must have drove past this Church a hundred times, the setting is very pretty and often said I would like to stop.

The church is very ancient, of various dates; comprises nave, three aisles, and transept, with a Norman tower; and contains several mural monuments.

 Churches are a good place for nature, often they have wildflower areas and mature trees are a great place for birds. That morning it had rained hard so not much wild life, but did spot these two Red-legged Shieldbug having no respect of their surroundings !!

Red-legged Shieldbug

As a starting point for beautiful walks, Leathley is increasing in popularity, although the village contains no shop, no cafe, no pub, nor any commercial building. The village green is in constant use as a parking area.(LINK)


St Andrew's Church at Blubberhouses was the next church on my list, but first we had a little walk along the edge of Fewston reservoir, the sun came out and so did the insects.

Red-legged Shieldbug

Alder Moth caterpillar ( Acronicta alni )

Rhingia  rostrata hoverfly


Thick-legged Hoverfly - Syritta pipiens

St Andrew's Church.
 The church of St Andrew's, Blubberhouses is one of two churches in the Parish of Fewston with Blubberhouses in the beautiful Washburn Valley in North Yorkshire. It is one of the six Washburn Valley and Mid-Wharfe Anglican churches.

At a public meeting in September 2015 a decision was taken to keep the church open, subsequently ratified by the PCC. A group named Friends of Blubberhouses Church has been formed to oversee repairs and rejuvenate the life of this church. See for more information.(LINK)

Yellow bike  left over from the  Tour de Yorkshire

 I thought this lamb who's very cute looked like a Hare

Love Sheep

Church window

Meadow Grasshopper - Chorthippus parallelus

St Andrew's Church

The church looks stunning high up on the hill from the car park, and Fewston is a lovey place to walk.

As my interest in Churches has grown there are many places on my list to visit over the summer months, so I have set up a new blog page here "CHURCHES" if you are interested. Its not just about the churches but the other discoveries I have found on the way. In Ilkley I found a Roman Fort and in Bradford a Old Victorian Cemetery  opened in 1854, contains 23,000 graves and holds a total of 124,000 burials.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Started as a Hoverfly and ended up at a thistle....

Pied Hoverfly  (Scaeva pyrastri)

After my trip to Adel church I called in at Golden acre park to see the flowers, a place I have visited many  times to photograph and feed the birds. During the summer months the large gardens are beautiful.
Golden acre park 12 July 2017

Common red soldier beetle

 The day was warm so there were plenty of insects, the black and white stripes of the hoverfly were stunning and it was quite large for a hoverfly when you are just used to seeing the small Marmalade hoverfly(Episyrphus balteatus) in your back garden. I was later to find out it is called Pied Hoverfly  (Scaeva pyrastri)
The hoverfly book came out when I got home, Iv'e had it a few years now and the photos are very good, but like any new subject from wildflowers to moths if you are new they all end up looking the same, so that's why it went back on the shelf. Well this year with the help of Twitter and UK Hoverflies on Facebook I am giving it a go.

A morning looking at "Insects on the wing" at Denso nature reserve didn't go to plan due to the rain, but I  managed to find some nice snails.

Kentish Snail - Monacha cantiana

Amber Snail - Succinea putris

This week was a trip to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Local Nature Reserve to do a Big Butterfly Count ,  I managed to see 34 butterflies but the highlight was a Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

 Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Local Nature Reserve 18 July 2017

Speckled wood ( Pararge aegeria)

 Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Comma Butterfly  ( Polygonia c-album)

Eristalis nemorum Hoverfly

 Cinnabar moth caterpillar  on Ragwort

With a new interest in Hoverflies I ventured up on to Yeadon Banks, there is a field full of Ragwort and thistles, a good place to look for wildlife.

Yeadon Banks

Horses  keeping cool

Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare 19 July 2017

Along the path there were some rather large Spear Thistles growing, taking the time to look closely I was surprised by how much was going on in just one plant, some might call it a weed but it's so important for many insects.

Pied Hoverfly  (Scaeva pyrastri)

Plenty of Hoverflies and bees, I just love the different faces on the Hoverflies, spiders too were making most of all the insects available, fast food on the door step.

Spider store 

 7 Spot Lady birds were amongst the Black fly, on one thistle there was over 10 Ladybirds .

Buathra laborator, Wasp were in the tops of the thistles laying their eggs.

7-spot Ladybird ( Coccinella 7-punctata)

Buathra laborator, Wasp

"candy-striped" spider

I found this what I think is "candy-striped" spider  ,  tending to a live moth larvae, the larvae was alive put tethered at the bottom end by the web so it could still eat.

Hoverfly Platycheirus sp.

As I wondered about the a Little Owl took of, there has been Little Owls up here as long as I can remember, once disturbed they normally fly to far to get a good photo, but today it stayed close by in the tree.

Little Owl

Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidarius

22-spot ladybird (Psyllobora 22-punctata)

Noon Fly - Mesembrina meridiana

Home to a  Andrenidae - Mining bees

So the next time you see a Thistle STOP and have a closer look.

19 July 2017