Thursday, August 31, 2023

Hatfield Forest 1st August

A trip, with camera, round our local forest. We came across a couple of Silver-Washed Fritillaries doing their bit to ensure there's some fritillaries around next year.

Here's the happy couple, with the female on the right indicating a certain willingness to proceed.



The whole process was quite elaborate with lots of fluttering of wings. Good to have these butterflies in number in the forest.

Elsewhere there were more butterflies. There are three species in the photo below.


You can really only see two, but the Comma moved off allowing a decent view of the third.



Always amazed at the style and neatness of the Purple Hairstreak's face!

UPDATE: ** Thanks to Mike for pointing out that this is not a Purple Hairstreak but is a White-Letter Hairstreak. On checking the books it matches quite clearly. That's not just a first for me for Hatfield Forest but a Lifer - thanks Mike! **

It wasn't just butterflies. The Orchid bible Harrop states HF has Violet Helleborines. After asking some of the local Naturalists and doing a bit of hunting around I found some gone-over spikes last Autumn. This time they were in full bloom. We are indeed fortunate to have these so close to us.



Kent part 2

Bonsai Bank had a lot more than just masses of Lady Orchids and Fly orchids. We had single Greater Butterfly Orchid, several White Helleborines, and there were still some Early Purple Orchids.



The weather wasn't ideal for Butterflies, but we did get a few Duke of Burgundies.



We went on to Yocklett's Bank and then Parkgate Down. The issue at both was parking, but we managed to find places both times.

Yocklett's Bank had similar to Bonsai Bank but more. The Greater Butterfly Orchid was in flower. Also a Turtle Dove purring loudly. 

Greater Butterfly Orchid

Parkgate had magnificent Monkey Orchids in decent numbers. Just mad exploding golf-balls of vivid purple colour. Our appreciation was only slightly diminished by learning these had all been relocated from another site a while ago.




For an exploratory trip this was excellent and I think I will be back for more next year.


Monday, August 14, 2023

Going Nuclear.

I know, I know, its very bad form to observe a couple of months of silence and then return for a rant. But here we are.

I'm getting increasingly fed up with the 'green' lobby and their sheer logic-defying brainlessness. But lets not spend half a day going over that. Instead let's just consider the available options on 'green energy' and look for the best solution.

I worked on computer systems in banks for many years, and my experience is that lots of people are keen to sell you there latest wacky idea as though its the future, but if you want actual results on a realistic timescale, you go with something that is proven to work.

And what is proven to work, if you are shopping for an energy form that doesn't emit Carbon Dioxode, is available whenever you need it, doesn't need non-existent storage solutions, is Nuclear. It is proven in many places over many years. We start from a point of known technology, known results. 

If you want to invest in new 'green' energy generation methods that would be Nuclear Fusion. Lawrence Livermore Labs in the US have repeated the process of generating energy over a short period, which gives real hope that developments can extend the performance. It's in as good a position for an experimental technology as one can reasonably ask for. 

This is just obvious isn't it?

Rarity chasing in Cambridgeshire part 2.

Last post left you on the edge of your seats as your intrepid birders ticked off the first of three potential rarities and headed off in sea...