As autumn draws in, Old Sulehay NR remains a fascinating place to visit. There were still quite a few flowers in the limestone grassland of Stonepit Close including Common Eyebright and the tiny but rare Basil-thyme (see extra), with its pretty purple and white flowers. In sheltered areas the air was filled with hunting Common Darter dragonflies, accompanied by the occasional Migrant and Southern Hawker. The Common Darters were taking frequent rests, mostly on branches and twigs, but also on convenient gate tops and fence posts. This one was perched on the gate as I entered the site. The grasslands are one of the best places locally to see waxcap fungi. There were good numbers of both Limestone and Persistent Waxcap a couple of weeks ago, after the damp weather at the end of August, but the current drought has affected them and only a few shriveled fungi remained. Hopefully, there'll be more once we have rain.
We had an unexpectedly pleasant evening, an impromptu and eclectic family meal of miso glazed aubergines, griddled halloumi with lime and caper dressing, mango couscous, spiced rice and peas and a crunchy salad, accompanied by some rather overcooked pitta breads! Followed by figs roasted with cinnamon and brown sugar, and drizzled with some local Peterborough honey.
After dinner we looked at some old coins that we'd found at Molly's (one dating back to 1806) and then examined Pete's Dad's Prisoner of War memorabilia. We found a notebook and were able to piece together his progress through four camps. Following his capture in Algeria he was taken to a camp in Sicily and ended up near Milan. After Italy changed allegiance he was released and then escaped to Switzerland by swimming across the narrowest part of Lake Lugano. Such bravery.