Well, what can I say? On Sunday it will be a year since my last blog post. I remember that I promised I'd catch up, but that was before all the.... well you know, kicked off. Also back then my illness appeared to be on the mend but during last summer I again got worse and had to give up work altogether. I'm still none the wiser what is wrong but due to a process of elimination the verdict appears to be ME/CFS and some unknown autoimmune disease. It appears that I was in some kind of remission for a few months. I can get out every now and then to do the things I enjoy, but I really have to pace myself.
Anyway I'm going to do a few posts to cover what I was up to last year. Not a lot by my standards but then again it's been the same for everyone.
I made my annual pilgrimage to Lower Dunscombe cliff to look for Early Forget-me-not. It's just such a great photogenic location for them!
Some lovely weather in April but with having to stay local, walked down to Salcombe Beach a few times, although close to home I'd never really been there much. It proved a great place for early butterflies just like the other places along the coast that I usually visit. I saw a very early Wood White on April 20th. Then later in April one of my favourites, the cheeky little Green Hairstreak. A few of these were holding territories on the base of the cliffs along the beach and also a few Dingy Skippers.
Also seen were a Scarlet Tiger caterpillar and several clumps of the rather scarce shingle specialist plant Sea Kale, and in the fields above Salcombe a stunning almost albino Early Purple Orchid.
Lower Duscombe Cliff: There's always plenty to see here especially wildflowers and the views are spectacular too.
Also on Lower Dunscombe Cliff I saw this lovely Eyebright. They are very difficult to identify but I'm pretty confident that this one is a hybrid between Common Eyebright and Large Flowered Eyebright. It looks very like Large Flowered Eyebright but that flowers much later in the year and the hybrid is known to flower much earlier.
Haven Cliffs, Axmouth Beach: I made a visit here looking for the Spiny Mason Wasp. I'd photographed them here many years ago and thought I'd have another go. It isn't easy in the hot weather as they never keep still. The chimneys they construct from mud at the entrance to their nesting burrow are really amazing.