Summer on the Lewes Downs

, 19 July 2015
Summer on the Lewes Downs

With summer in full swing now is a great time to get out on the South Downs around Lewes. The weather was certainly warm and sunny for today's walk but there was a real strong breeze blowing through Bible Bottom. This was a shame as I'd hoped to find plenty of butterflies on the flower-rich hillside but they were wisely sheltering from the wind. Still, the flowers weren't going anywhere and this hillside is one of the best examples of chalk grassland I know. One of my favourite plants here is carline thistle

The golden flowers of this thistle look dead and dried - and these rough prickly heads gave rise to an Anglo-Saxon name for the flower; 'boar's throat'.

At Oxteddle Bottom those masters of the air the dragonflies didn't seem to be bothered by the wind and we watched some aerial battles between a black-tailed skimmer and an egg-laying emperor dragonfly (photograph below by Stephen Watson).

Black-tailed skimmer

At Oxteddle Bottom

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