Nature’s attributes half way up a mountain

We live by a strongly flowing burn. We are used to wet weather, therefore the ground is often boggy, but it drains fast. We are half way up a mountain so the height increases UV light and the conditions attract fewer butterflies and moths than on lower areas. But we do see plenty of the British Green Veined White from Spring through to Autumn. It particularly likes being higher and can be seen fluttering around the fells when few other butterflies are around. The Small Heath is also found higher up from our cottage.

We have had a particularly wet year when the Jet Stream got stuck over the UK. Consequently it was dreadful for the poor insects and birds. Although the Green Veined White has been plentiful, not so the Small Tortoishell which I expect to arrive with other Vanessids such as the Red Admiral. Of the Brown butterlies only Ringlets abound, loving the dampness of the surroundings. I expect the beautiful Peacock soon, but I am fearful it also will not arrive in the numbers we are used to seeing.

The Moths are fewer too, but those I have seen are the Beautiful Golden Y, the Silver Y, Gold Spangle, Gold Spot, Clouded Bordered Brindle, Silver Ground Carpet and Small Magpie,

How exquisite all insects are, the spiders, bees and wasps, ants, flies of all kinds – there must be thousands of varieties and I am no entymologist.

The wild flowers here in August are typically:

Harebell, Sweet Cicely, Angelica, Meadowsweet (Lady of the Meadow, Meadow Queen and Queen-of-the-Meadow) , Tormentil (eart-barth (earth bark), Wild Thyme, Rough Hawksbit and a variety of Thistle.

These are acidic grasslands with heath bedstraw with bent and fescue grasses, amongst which grow the wild flowers.

In acidic grasslands, small heath and meadow-brown butterflies lay their eggs upon fine-leaved fescues. Short-tailed field voles, feeding on grass stems and roots, in turn fall prey to short-eared owls. Rabbits are common, particularly where the soil is easily excavated, and they too make easy meals for buzzards, foxes and stoats.

Jointed rushes grow in the boggy areas, which are many! At this time of year they have flowered and are going to seed like all the grasses.

The main raptor is the buzzard. We also have owls, long eared, tawny and barn. Amongst their prey are the numerous small birds which constantly busy themselves catching insects and eating seeds such as: tree, rock and meadow pipit; swallows and house martins; greenfinch, chaffinch, goldfinch; lesser redpoll; great tit; stonechat and whinchat.

Along the burn fly dippers and herons.

The carrion crow and not far from us, the ravens fly over the fields mostly where the sheep are grazing.

Every day is full of surprises. More to learn about, more of the richness of nature all around us. It was probably there to see when I lived a busy life in the city, but I could not stop and wonder. I was too stressed and distracted with the typical effort of family commitments. Now I can take my time, and I do.

About borderslynn

Retired, living in the Scottish Borders after living most of my life in cities in England. I can now indulge my interest in all aspects of living close to nature in a wild landscape. I live on what was once the Iapetus Ocean which took millions of years to travel from the Southern Hemisphere to here in the Northern Hemisphere. That set me thinking and questioning and seeking answers. In 1998 I co-wrote Millennium Countdown (US)/ A Business Guide to the Year 2000 (UK) see
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