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John Vetterlein's Wildlife & Butterfly Walk - 20th August

Monday 21st August 2017

This month's 'Flower & Butterfly' walk was attended by its dedicated core of regulars and one or two new faces, making 9 persons in total including several FoSOC members. Following a route similar to last month's John Vetterlein led the group around the Cemetery for nearly two hours and pointed out nearly 50 species of flowering / fruiting plants and several types of galls. Many of the species found had also been encountered on earlier walks during the year, and many of these are shown in previous months' photos, but John did manage to include some new ones as well. Butterlies were less in evidence than last month but the afternoon, though pleasant, was not quite so warm as on July's walk. The entrance area, through to the woodland and then the Main Carriageway of the Cemetery presented us with Red Dead-nettle, Green Alkanet, Common Knapweed, Red and White Clovers, Bird's Foot Trefoil, Oxeye Daisies, Common Cat's Ear, Ribwort Plantain and Greater Plantain [1], Hedge Woundwort [2], Daisies, Dovesfoot Cranesbill, Common Mouse Ear [3], Smooth Hawk's Beard, Creeping Thistle, Rosebay Willow Herb, Hedge Bindweed, Rough Hawksbit, Agrimony, Hogweed, Honeysuckle, Yarrow, our Walnut tree still with some fruits showing, Burnet Saxifrage, Elder (in berry) [4], Canadian and Common Golden Rod [both in 5], Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea, Ragwort (with Cinnabar Moth caterpillars in attendance as so often), Rosehips [6], some Robin's Pin-Cushion galls, Square-stemmed St John's Wort, Michelmas Daisies, Oak trees with bountiful acorns (some bearing Knapper galls), Bittersweet, Herb-Robert, Knotgrass, and a Marble gall on oak [7]. In the heart of the heathland section of the Cemetery we saw Bell Heather and Ling, Devil's Bit Scabious (now coming into flower) [8], and Rowan (in berry) [9], after which we followed the Yew Tree Path (with side excursions) to see the Red Horse Chestnut (now also in fruit) [10], Hedgerow Cranesbill and Meadow Vetchling, ending the walk by admiring an attractive clump of Harebells close to the Belgian Memorial. As mentioned, the butterflies were scarcer than in July, although several whites were seen as well as some Speckled Woods [11], Gatekeepers and Holly Blues. Another huge 'thank you' is due to John for the walk, and of course FoSOC's thanks are extended to all those who attended and donated so generously. And special thanks to Sheila who, as she does so often, carried out a litter-pick while on the walk. The final flower and butterfly walk of the year will be on 17th September, and we hope you will be there.