I had planned my trip a while back and was hoping my friend Chris was going to join me but his father had been taken ill while on holiday so he had more pressing matters to deal with abroad. I sent him my best and hopped onto the hovercraft in Southsea for a day trip to The Isle of Wight.
I landed at Ryde with the view looking back towards Portsmouth.
I timed the waiting bus just over the bridge to perfection and I was off to my destination in Ventnor on the south of the island. Top deck, front seat just like in my youth. I was a happy boy and it was only 9am.
Looking west the sea looked so inviting for a swim but I didn't pack my cossie, so I declined.
The main reason for my excursion today was to try and see yet another rare butterfly and just enjoy another day out walking. Not another butterfly I hear you cry!?
It was the focus of my trip but everything else makes the journey so worthwhile, especially on this treasure of an island.
Last year it took me a good while to encounter my quarry. Today it popped up before me almost instantly. The Glanville Fritillary... Apart from a very rare year on the mainland this is the only place you will find this stunner in the British Isles.
Nature is held dear here. A beautiful mosaic of the Common lizard shone through beneath the cliffs to emphasize this fact.
I got down on all fours for some up close and personal shots.
Apparently the Red Valerian is a native to the Mediterranean region and although I knew it to be a garden escape I wasn't aware it is quite edible. Both it's leaves and roots can be eaten in salads and also boiled for use in soups.
I encountered a Six Spot Burnet Chrysalis as I hunted the Glanvilles through the valerian jungle..
As I sat, Kes put in another appearance literally right above me. Was I it's next victim?
I watched this individual use it's fabulous longs horns to scratch it's back as it's doing here. Neat little trick, wish I could do that.
I do have a soft spot for this beautiful little island. The weather had been kind again too. Hopefully I'll return again very soon...?
The Title of this post is a lyric taken from the song 'Living on an Island' by Status Quo