Lynchcombe Steps

Having a wild thyme on Lynchcombe even when the coppers arrived.

Lynchcombe - Somerset, UK. ID 822_8546

Lynchcombe – Somerset, UK. ID 822_8546

Sorry, but today on the steep slopes of the combe in Lynchcombe there were some beautiful and unexpected small coppers (Lycaeena phlaeas) feeding on the wild thyme (Thymus polytrichus).

The combe runs down the middle of Lynchcombe.  This small woodland valley has steep slopes with rocky outcrops.  It can be a scramble so take care.  The loose soils created by rabbits can cause the ground to slip away, and the stems of bracket or brambles can catch around your ankles.

Wild Thyme

Wild thyme is fairly common across the grasslands of Somerset, and most of the UK.   On Lynchcombe it appears where limestone outcrops have pushed through the thin soil.

Lynchcombe - Somerset, UK. ID 822_8552

Lynchcombe – Somerset, UK. ID 822_8552

My first sighting today.  There is no other butterfly like the small copper in the UK.   They are a joy to watch especially as they seem to like returning to the same patch over and over again if disturbed.

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) - Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9599

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) – Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9599

They enjoy warming up on the exposed limestone rocks.

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) - Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9885

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) – Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9885

There were small coppers out in May, so today was the second emergence.  There could be a third before the summer is over.

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) - Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9862

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) – Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9862

They can be found anywhere on Lynchcombe.

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) - Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID JB4_3286

Small Copper (Lycaeena phlaeas) – Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID JB4_3286

And look good on a thistle.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) – Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID JB3_7631

And Finally…

The week saw the emergence of lots of harebells on the slopes of the combe.

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) - Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9948

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) – Lynchcombe, Somerset, UK. ID 823_9948

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