October 19, 2015


The days are getting shorter and the nights are becoming cooler and even cold. This autumn has been slow and drawn out with vistas of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  

Even so there are still a few butterflies to be seen, mainly the Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell. 

Butterflies do not all have the same life cycle.  The above find somewhere warm and dark to hibernate over the winter, to re-emerge as the days get warmer.  Many others have die, but leave their offspring at various stages of the life cycle.  

Meadow Brown have already hatched as caterpillars and are eating and living in the grass.  On cold days they rest and warmer ones they feed. 

Small and large White  fat caterpillars are already turning into chrysalises and will spend the winter hanging under shed roofs and fences to come out and join the emerging elderly Peacocks and Tortoiseshells.

Earwigs are looking for mates and will lay their eggs now, watching over them until they hatch. Amazingly I have just discovered they can fly but rarely choose to do so.

On a recent visit to the wool festival in Kendal where the trees have yet to turn to there autumn colours, I was fortunate to witness several exciting encounters with nature. Whilst sitting outside Costa with my coffee,  2 Whooper swans flew gracefully past at eye level around the curve in the Kent river.  At the same time a woodpecker was exploring a dead tree hanging over the edge of the fast flowing water.

There is nothing like the smell and feel of pure wool and I came home with a large number of batts and locks to felt with over the winter.