Today I had a short walk from home towards Apperley Bridge, only 2 miles in total but I was out for much of the afternoon just drinking in the delights of nature. I hadn't realised how much I'd missed these kinds of walks until I was out - time was meaningless and I was so totally in the moment.
Anyway, I headed from home towards the canal at Apperley Bridge and on towards the river spotting a male bullfinch on an overhead wire along the way. At the Stansfield Arms I had a chat with a gentleman who was creating some artwork on the board outside, in readiness for its reopening on Sunday. He had painted a beautiful array of meadow flowers. I continued up the hill past the Moody Cow where I turned right onto Woodlands Drive. I had planned to take a route previously taken right to the end of this road into the wood but where the road turns a sharp left, I took a footpath on the right which led down to the river. About half way down there was an area that the butterflies seemed to love; mostly ringlets.I also saw a silver Y moth. Just before I got to the stile I noticed to my left a ball shaped wasps' nest in the hedgerow, the like of which I have never before seen. I took a few photos before moving swiftly on as there too much wasp activity for comfort. I crossed a field where the freshly spread muck clung to my boots.
On reaching the river, there were many swallows, swifts and sand martins flying, the swifts being especially impressive with their low aerial manoeuvres. The sand bank on the far side of the river now displayed empty nest holes. I had a gentle stroll along the riverbank where I saw several banded demosielle damselflies, and a caterpillar which I believe may be the peacock butterfly caterpillar. At least three grey wagtails were flitting around. There was a lot of butterfly activity including meadow brown, small tortoiseshell and red admiral.
I decided not to return along the riverbank but instead I turned off and took the road up to Undercliffe Drive to pick up the path through the far end of the wood. I followed the road round onto Woodlands Drive catching a brief glimpse of a red kite overhead. Blackcaps were heard but not seen.
As I made by way back home the artist outside the Stansfield Arms had finished the meadow flowers along with some signwriting but was now working on a second board. I didn't interrupt his labours.
The afternoon had been mostly overcast with a little sunshine, quite muggy with little wind but close to Apperley Bridge Station light rain started to fall so I hurried home - en route on the canal I heard and then saw three ring necked parakeets in flight. I was very pleased with all I had enjoyed on this short, local walk.
See the photos here.