A walk in Reffley Wood, just outside King’s Lynn, this afternoon, to search for butterflies, was unfortunately not very successful. We saw a comma land high in a tree and a few white ones, one of which did settle and which I think may have been a large white, but that was all. The butterflies are undoubtedly suffering from the effects of the wet, windy and cold weather earlier in the week. The comma is one of my favourite butterflies because it is often one of the easiest to photograph.
However, after wandering down a rather overgrown path, we reached the edge of a dyke separating the wood from a flood plain and here we spotted a few damselflies. I think they were large red damselflies and we saw at least one of the blue species. That was a delight as I haven’t seen many dragonflies so far this year and I think they, like the butterflies, are beautiful creatures.
My daughter, Vicky, had taken with her a book which describes how various wild plants could be used to treat certain illnesses and whether they could be eaten and every now and again she would read out a snippet of information about the plants we came across in this beautiful 130-acre ancient woodland. Very entertaining and educational and something a lot more people would have known about years ago, I’m sure.
Looking more closely at the flowers, nature has provided an enormous variety in design. For instance, there is the tiny white flower of cleavers (which I hadn’t noticed until today), the tubular type attached to bugle or ground ivy, and then the dramatic, brightly coloured ones that adorn thistles. A sleepy looking insect is resting on the right hand side of the thistle in the main image above.
There were a few bees about and we noticed one seven-spot ladybird on a nettle. A few birds sang or called during our walk.
The forecast at present is for a reasonably warm and dry week, so hopefully a few more butterflies and dragonflies will appear to fly along the rides in this Woodland Trust owned wood.