Six members from the Nature and Landscape Groups ventured over the waters to the Isle of Wight in search of some rare butterflies and inspiring landscapes.
A dry, bright, but overcast day promised some good conditions for our challenges.
Our initial quarry was a rare butterfly, usually only found in small colonies on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. “The Glanville Fritillary is named after Lady Eleanor Glanville, a 17th century Lepidopterist. After her death, one of her sons contested her will on the grounds of lunacy, as eloquently described by Moses Harris in "The Aurelian" in 1766: "This Fly took its Name from the ingenious Lady Glanvil, whose Memory had like to have suffered for her Curiosity. Some Relations that was disappointed by her Will, attempted to let it aside by Acts of Lunacy, for they suggested that none but those who were deprived of their Senses, would go in Pursuit of Butterflies" www.ukbutterflies.co.uk
Far from being senseless we soon found a few specimens at our first site, Compton Chine, resulting in some excellent images.
Some members also took the opportunity to photograph looking west over Freshwater Bay towards Tennyson Down which was to be our second stop.
Species found included – Glanville Fritillary, Large Skipper, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Common Blue
After a less than memorable supper in Totland we took the long stroll up to the Needles Old Battery for views down over the Needles pinnacles towards Purbeck.
With the sun in a less favourable position we then moved on to Alum Bay, noted for its different coloured sandy cliffs. Sediments of sands, lignites and clays laid down were pushed vertically some 10 million years later to form the multi-coloured cliffs we see today.
Three minerals, mica, quartz and feldspar make up the sands.
In their pure state these are white but become coloured by contamination by other minerals.
Unfortunately, we had to leave before sunset to catch the last ferry back to Lymington.
Our thanks again go to Robert Harvey for organising the trip and researching the sites, as well as to Steve and Michael for driving.
Certainly a day trip to the Island was easy, and with many photographic opportunities it would be well worth repeating in the future. SJH