John C writes:
Our annual walk in the Cutsdean area of the Cotwolds on Sunday 18 July. At 30C plus it was very (too!) warm but the compensation was that the butterflies and insects were very active. Everywhere was buzzing as I remember the countryside used to buzz.
We call it the butterfly walk because in general it’s very good for butterflies and there is one section of about 2km which is especially good. (It’s all on public foorpaths.) This year there were, quite literally, clouds of Ringlets, Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns, as well as Small Skippers and several Silver-washed Fritillaries. They were mostly moving too fast to photograph but this handsome beetle obliged me by feeding on an umbellifer for a minute or so. She (or he) is a Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata). Not uncommon according to the book, but spectacular nonetheless.