Wild @ Rivers - July 2018

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Diary Entry by Charmaine Cooper

Marbled White

Orchids are still blooming in the orchard’s meadow, their beautiful purple cone shaped flowers adding a splash of colour as they peep up through the grass. Among the grasses Butterflies are busily foraging. Two Ringlet Butterflies have begun to mate ensuring the probability of Ringlets next year. Other Butterflies fluttering among the Common Centaury and Knapweed are Small Skippers and Marbled Whites. This year has seen an increase again of the Marbled White Butterfly but a decline of the Meadow Brown; they not as numerous as last year.


The temperature is rising and the heat is affecting the flowers; the Orchids have withered, likewise the Knapweed. The birds in the orchard and meadow are sheltering during the heat of the day and everything is silent. Only the Crickets and Grasshoppers sing. Early morning, before the heat returns, a Chiff chaff calls across the orchard. Butterflies are feeding on the nectar rich flowers of the Scabious. Along the footpath a juvenile Green Woodpecker waits quietly until from across the meadow an adult’s yaffle is heard. The youngster responds and takes to the air. Walking into the meadow the adult Green Woodpecker can be seen as it flies up and settles on the telegraph pole, calling as it bobs around the pole.

Meadow Brown

In the scrub newly emerged Gatekeepers are on the wing busily feeding on the aromatic flowers of the wild herb Marjoram. These Gatekeepers are soon joined by a Peacock Butterfly and several Marbled White Butterflies. Along the edge of the scrub’s path Clover is flowering and a Marbled White Butterfly is enjoying the nutritious nectar the flower offers. Further into the scrub a Meadow Brown has settled on a leaf in a sun spot to bask briefly before flying off.


Early evening, after the intense heat of the day, it is pleasant to walk among the orchard’s trees and capture the evening light as the sun goes down on another day. The sun shines through the fruit trees on the ripening fruit which desperately need water. The orchard is bathed in a beautiful light before it dips below the horizon.

Orchard Sunset

Small Skipper

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