The grassy cliffs of Sark, in the Channel Islands, are a vital habitat for insects, including a variety of butterflies and moths. When we visited in July, the five-spot burnet moth was much in evidence. Such a striking beast. I also spotted a forester moth, below. Somewhat rarer.
Burnets are not known to be particularly flighty but they were fluttering all around me that afternoon. Perhaps it was the very breezy conditions. I wasn’t able to manage a decent in flight shot. Below is a huge and rather fuzzy crop, but a record of the moment nonetheless.
Our trip to the Channel Islands this summer included a stay on Sark.
Under the effects of wind and water, Sark is becoming two islands, Great and Little Sark. They are joined by a narrow isthmus called La Coupée.
It’s a spectacular spot, the cliffs shearing off steeply from both sides of the narrow path. My photos don’t really do it justice.
La Coupée used to be so dangerous that people would crawl over it on their hands and knees. During the nineteenth century, the path eroded until it was only three feet wide. The present road dates from 1945 and was constructed by German prisoners of war. It can still be an eventful crossing even today; on busy days tourists pushing bikes, the principal means of transport on this car-free island, mingle with carts pulled by horses. The latter have right of way, but there’s not a lot of room when they pass! Sadly, I didn’t get a shot of a cart on La Coupée; I always seemed to be there at the wrong time.
I did, however, manage to take some photos of La Coupée at dusk. As the light dims, and the people leave, it becomes a spooky place and, not surprisingly, has had a reputation for being haunted. One story tells of a black dog, called the Tchico, who roams the cliffs around La Coupée at night. I didn’t see Tchico, which is probably just as well.
More about Sark next week.
It’s been several weeks since I was last here. I’ve missed it. I just pressed the button on my dissertation! I can no longer tinker with it; it’s done. All I need to do now is bind and drop off the hard copies tomorrow. I am excited to be able to get back to the blog. I hope you haven’t all given up on me!
I couldn’t completely leave the camera alone for the whole summer. Here’s a shot of a lovely little common blue butterfly, captured while on holiday in Sark in July. See you after college tomorrow!