Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary, Wednesday, 21st July 2010


canalgatekeepergatekeeperTO GO VIA the towpath instead of up Quarry Hill makes something like five or ten minutes difference when you walk between Horbury Bridge and Horbury but it's worth it just to take a brief dip into green space. There are butterflies about – not as many as I feel there should be – and dragonflies. Striding along, I'm not going to be able to identify them all.

gatekeeper gatekeepergatekeeperThe gatekeeper (right) skits along in front of me but settles long enough for me to confirm what it is. There are white butterflies around but I'm afraid that when they're on the wing, at a glance I can't tell whether they're the small, large or green-veined varieties, or even female orange tips for that matter. I take the chance to stoop down to take a closer look at one that has settled; it has prominent veins on the underwing, so that's the green-veined white, Pieris napi (left).

larege aeshnadragoflyWe now have a regular large aeshna dragonfly patrolling our back garden but flying along just a few inches above the canal there's a blue dragonfly, about two-thirds the size of the aeshna.

floating pennywortpond skaterFrom the bridge, we'd glimpsed green rafts of vegetation floating on the canal. I thought that it was floating pennywort, a North American plant (surprisingly an Umbellifer) that has grown prolifically in recent years, but from the towpath, I can see that it's duckweed.

Pond skaters glide across the water surface.