Thursday, June 30, 2022

June Blows Out...

Yet another windswept day at Knepp. Indeed, the second week of the Emperor season here has blown by on scudding clouds - a great shame as the second week is really the best week, with males descending to feed in pristine or near-pristine condition, searching the sallows for girls and exploring their treetop world.

Neil and I baited a stretch of hard track this morning, with his secret recipe shrimp paste tea, and this promptly happened -

With the sun came that moderate to fresh wind, which made the Emperors hang up - after being gloriously active for one dizzy hour, during which I realised, again, that they are actually out in very good numbers, or would be if the weather relented and allowed them to fly. I think the Prime Minister should apologise to The House about the loss of second week of the 2022 Purple Emperor season.

Next week is looking fine, with a pleasant anticyclone coming in. It cannot arrive soon enough. However, the forecast for tomorrow, July 1st, involves yet more grot: I can cope with the grot, if the wind dies down. The wind cools the whole system down.

My guess is that there are a lot of Emperors and, in particularly, Empresses, due to emerge, everywhere. They're holding back, waiting for the weather to improve... but they can't hold back indefinitely, and the longer the insect spends in the pupal stage the fewer adults actually fly, due to predation.

Here's one of the Knepp Tamworth sows walking past my ebike - 


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