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Budding butterflies on show

A colony of caterpillars on nettles. The caterpillars will turn into tortoiseshell butterflies. PNL-140306-125325001

A colony of caterpillars on nettles. The caterpillars will turn into tortoiseshell butterflies. PNL-140306-125325001

Visitors to Maids Moreton saw interesting sights during a summer stroll last weekend.

Michael Clements guided walkers down the canal path by the River Great Ouse and along the Ouse Valley Walk to Hyde Lane lock. The walk took in the Old Mill House at Maids Moreton, and where the mill and its waterwheel once turned. The Old Mill House was built as a farmhouse soon after 1800.

Walkers also saw nature at work including colonies of caterpillars on clumps of nettles. The caterpillars were dark grey with yellow marbling, and dozens of them cluster on a single nettle plant, spinning a web over it for protection as they eat the nettle leaves away. They will later turn into small tortoiseshell butterflies.

There was also evidence of an otter which had caught an American signal crayfish, eaten it and had left only large claws amongst the food debris.

 

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