Thursday, 9 August 2012

Wildflowers and Clifftop Views at Durlston


On our recent day in  the Isle of Purbeck, we left the village of Kingston behind and drove to the clifftop nature reserve of Durlston Country Park, just to the west of Swanage. Usually we walk along the coastal path which skirts the cliff edge, but on this summer afternoon we wanted to explore the wildflower meadows just inland. The poor weather of spring and early summer has hit butterfly numbers hard, but if any were to be found, they would be flying in the limestone meadows of Purbeck.

There are pathways through the meadows. Tall grasses and a profusion of alkali loving flowers were all around us. Above is a woolly thistle and below there are scabious, yarrow and wild parsnip among the grasses.



We helped this shiny blue red-nosed beetle across the path. He clung to a grass stalk and then crawled away into the undergrowth, away from passing feet.


We saw a few marbled white butterflies, gatekeepers and burnet moths, but non would stay still long enough to have their photograph taken!


Soldier beetles on an umbilifer ( hogweed?).



Red Bartsia.


Skylarks are nesting in the meadows, so visitors are encouraged to keep to the pathways. We could hear the high, trilling song of a skylark way above us.



Around us in the meadows,  bees hummed against the distant sound of the sea.






We walked on the path above Anvil Point Lighthouse........


........and watched distant, white sailed yachts out on the calm water.







We sat for a while in the heat of the sun, looking out over the sea.


Walking back along grassy pathways......



...., back into the meadows past wind-bent hawthorns........



...we stopped to look back across a wooden gate, to the shining blue of the sea.


14 comments:

WOL said...

That picture of whatever that white building was, with the thistles in the foreground was a beautifully composed photo of a beautiful subject. Likewise the last picture. I like how the trees break up the view.

Dartford Warbler said...

Thank you WOL! The white building is a rear view of Anvil Point Lighthouse. I think my favourite photo is the last one and I might use it as a reference for a painting one day.

I do keep reading your blog but I`m having trouble leaving comments for some reason.

Bovey Belle said...

Lovely photos evoking happy memories. I can remember doing the "Purbeck Plod" along there back in the 1980s! Glad to hear that you saw some butterflies. Cabbage Whites are about all I have seen here this summer, apart from a couple of Tortoiseshells, one Red Admiral and a very faded Painted Lady yesterday.

Ragged Robin said...

What a really beautiful walk and its lovely to see all the wild flowers. The photos are lovely especially the first and last. As you say the last one would make a wonderful painting :)

Kath said...

looks quite idyllic.

Mum said...

Beautiful walk, thank you.
Love from Mum
xx

The Weaver of Grass said...

How wonderful to take a walk in such a beautiful area DW. And your flower photographs are fascinating because they are so different from the ones we get round here.

Toffeeapple said...

What a delicious post, I could almost smell the sea.

That last picture is perfect.

Down by the sea said...

This is one of our favourite places too, although we haven't visited there since Christmas. Thank you for the reminder that we must visit it soon, it looks so lovely in the sunshine!
Sarah x

Jane The Booklady said...

You have captured that late summer feel of meadows perfectly and I love your last photograph of the stile and the sea- what a beautiful walk! Jane xx

BilboWaggins said...

Lovely walk, I could feel a gentle breeze coming off the sea (that may be wishful thinking as it is unusually warm here today!)

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely walk, specially with the accompaniment of the skylark!

WOL said...

I do keep reading your blog as well, and I would comment more often, but I'm having to curtail the amount of typing I do -- after a 25-year career of typing for a living!

Morning's Minion said...

Thistles, for all their prickly presence, are fascinating to observe. I've been interested to note in the different areas we've lived, thistles are always there but the varieties differ slightly.
Yarrow is also one of those plants which seemingly can grow in any setting and soil.
The US has such vast areas which are land-locked I'm always surprised to be reminded that Britain is an island and the seacoast is readily accessable.