You may recall a few weeks ago I shared a couple of photographs of the Hampshire countryside. MrB and I had gone out for a walk at Danebury, a hill fort a few miles from Winchester, only to discover everyone else was doing exactly the same. It has never appealed to us walking with dozens of others, and so we decided to explore part of an old riding haunt of his instead.
It was a hot morning when we set out, and the butterflies were loving it. There was one plant in particular they seemed to love. We didn’t see all 46 species of butterflies to be found in Hampshire, but we spotted around a dozen. I even managed to photograph one or two of them. You will discover their names by clicking on the gallery.
Butterflies were not the only delight. Despite being surrounded by agricultural land, which didn’t look organically farmed, there were goldfinches, linnets, chaffinches and numerous insects. There was also a rather unusual red hairy growth on a dog rose.
I later discovered the growth is called Robin’s pincushion. Isn’t that a great name! Also called mossy rose gall, this growth is caused by the larvae of a tiny gall wasp, Dipoloepis rosae. The internal part of the gall contains a number of chambers in which the larvae develop. Neither the larvae nor the growth have much impact on the host plant, but what I really want to know is do Robins use it?!
You though are probably wondering about my title! This is a Six Word Saturday, and my title alludes to the type of path we were on. It is a restricted byway which means it is a public road, but we are restricted to travelling by foot, by bike, by horses and by carriage. Anything in fact apart from mechanically propelled vehicles.
PS If anyone knows what the plant is in my header and also what the Red Admirals are on please do let me know!