Keeled skimmer.

The Keeled skimmer is a medium-sized dragonfly. Males are pale blue, with grey-blue eyes; females are yellowy-brown with a black line down the middle. This male dragonfly was in the New Forest this morning. It is a dragonfly of heathland with shallow pools. They are on the wing from June to September.

A dry spell.

Back in June we found this New Forest Pool a mile or so from the road and enjoyed a few hours photographing and watching dragonflies.

Posted a couple of views back then.

We walked back there this morning. The same pond a month later. After our heat wave.

Temptation.

An apple core snatch and grab. Sometimes the temptation of getting close to a human for a tasty bit of food overcomes any fear. This Grey Squirrel was showing an interest in my apple while I was sitting on our van step. When I had finished eating it I dropped it on the grass within seconds he was on it.

And the prize.

Sundew safari.

There are many carnivorous plants native to the UK. These are Sundews, Butterworts and Bladderworts. Sundews are not a common plant in southern England. However, in the New Forest, they are widespread in many of the boggy areas. In the New Forest, there are 3 types of Sundew. The Round-leaved Sundew seems to be the most abundant and as its name has a round end to the leaves, The Oblong-leaved Sundew is also fairly easy to find. It has longer, narrower leaves. The Great Sundew is twice as large as the oblong-leaved plant I have not found one yet.

You need to get down low to get a good view of these interesting little plants.

Round-leaved Sundew.

(to get a scale the pad on this plant is about the size of my little fingernail).

Sundews eat insects! They produce a sticky ‘glue’ all over the leaves; insects become trapped in the glue, the plant curls the leaf edges over and releases digestive enzymes that consume the insects, passing nutrients into the plant.

Oblong-leaved Sundew.

The picture below shows the Sundew with a flower bud.

And down came a spider.

A spider’s nest on some bracken. The nursery web spider builds a nest and is very parental overseeing the eggs and carefully supporting the baby spiders when they hatch. In this nest, they have already hatched turning the leaf to look brought out the mother spider!

What gall!

An interesting growth on a Dog Rose known as a rose bedeguar gall, Robin’s pincushion, mossy rose gall or moss gall. A gall wasp known as Diplopepis rosae causes these galls (Plant galls are abnormal outgrowths of plant tissues, similar to benign tumours) they mainly develop directly after the female insect lays the eggs. 

Cattle & Ponies.

Another New Forest walk yesterday. Much cooler this morning- The recent heatwave has left its mark. Many of the streams have dried up along with some of the pools where we study Dragonflies. Much of the grass is baked brown the whole forest waits for some of the forecast rain and thunderstorms.

The cattle and ponies are staying close to or regularly drinking water places such as Cadnams Pool. Due to the lack of fresh grass, they are eating leaves from the trees.

BBQs and open fires are now banned in the New Forest due to the fire risk. Although there are a lot of green areas within the forest underfoot the grass and gorse is tinder dry.

Ponies cooling off. Note the cotton grass in a green area of none brown grass at the end of the film which warns of a boggy area.

Remembered.

The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.

The Canadian Memorial is a simple wooden roadside cross with two flag poles. It is situated overlooking the sloping ground, near Bolderwood on a forest road leading to Emery Down.

The memorial remembers World War Two Canadian forces present in the New Forest before the D-Day invasion of June 6th, 1944 ‘

At this site, during the build-up to D-Day, Canadians were stationed in the area. It is also close to one of Forest’s wartime airfields at Stoney Cross.

A plaque with an inscription reads: ‘On this site, a cross was erected to the glory of God on 14th April 1944, by men of the 3rd Canadian Division RCASC’ ( the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.)

On D-Day, RCASC soldiers of the 3rd Canadian Division and 2nd Armoured Brigade landed on Juno Beach.

Smile you are on camera!

The Canada Geese goslings have grown up so much over the last few weeks. Three families despite the odds have raised all their little ones into “teenagers”.

I placed my small action camera {Olympus Tough} on a stool and let it capture the geese coming over for a feed. Video and stills from the film. Some of these portraits have got to make you smile.