Sunday, 21 February 2010
Lambs in the Snow, Brown Hairstreak butterflies, Rabbit pie..
Yesterday the Farmer & I went to fascinating lecture in our local village hall given by Butterfly Conservation Wales (http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/) on a project running in Carmarthenshire to locate the prescence of Brown Hairstreak butterflies. It seems that parts of Carmarthenshire are particularly good in providing suitable habitat for this species which lays its eggs solely on the blackthorn shrub. It was once very widespread in Wales but due to the loss of woodlands & hedgerows it has declined severely. However, it seems that Carmarthenshire is its remaining stronghold.
After the lecture and a light lunch, we went to a nearby smallholding to search for the eggs of the Brown Hairstreak. They are tiny white dots about the size of a pin-head that are laid on the twigs of the blackthorn. We found several though they are not abundant.
The butterflies live from about July to October and are rarely seen as they spend most of their time in the treetops, particularly in ash trees.
We are now going out inspecting our hedges for the eggs, but with no luck yet.
The Farmer went out lamping again the other evening with our neighbour who has lurchers. They had very successful jaunt and came back with three rabbits which are now residing in the deep-freeze. We have a huge number of rabbits on the farm and they are such a pest, but fortunately make very good eating. Rabbit pie, with the addition of a pigeon if the Farmer has been out shooting, is delicious. Served with home-grown potatoes and whatever vegetables we have and the Farmers' apple wine, it makes an excellent meal.