Sunday, 25 June 2017

#30DaysWild day 24 - Glowworms

Last night we went on an adventure! We were looking for glowworms, which live on Brush Hill, a chalk grassland slope just above the village where we live. We headed out at 9.30 in the evening and it was still surprisingly bright, which made the walk through the woods slightly less scary!

When we arrived we waited for darkness to fall by admiring the view, drinking hot chocolate and climbing a few trees.
The view at dusk

Best climbing tree on Brush Hill

The hot chocolate went down very well
As it got darker, we set off by torchlight to hunt for glowworms. At first all we could find were slugs and we got a little bit side tracked looking under bushes (you never know what might be under there!)
Getting darker!

The rain earlier in the day had brought the slugs out
What's hiding in there then?
The lights below us were standing out in the darkness, so the time was about right to start looking for tiny green specks of light in the grass.

It took a while, but eventually we were thrilled to find 2 glowworms. You really have to hunt for them, as the glow is tiny and hidden down in the grass.

Glow worms are beetles from the firefly family and it's only the female that produces the green light, from the last few segments of her abdomen. She's completely wingless, so glows to attract the smaller, winged males. She spends two years as a larvae eating slugs and snails, then pupates in a burrow in the ground emerging in June or July. She climbs out of the burrow, glows, mates then crawls back into the burrow to lay her eggs. She dies soon afterwards and is only an adult glow worm for about a week.


We were careful to put them back where we found them, so they could find their burrows again and decided to go home. By now it was 10.30 pm and it was very dark!

The walk back through the woods was 'brisk' as we could hear the trees creaking in the wind and we could feel the eyes watching us. It was a bit scary! Something screeched at us from a tree above us and we could feel the monsters getting closer ...
There were definitely monsters out there!
... but we made it back to the car safely and were home by 11 pm. What a brilliant adventure!

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