Sunday, July 30, 2006
when the sun came out today the hills were alive to the sound of butterfly wings flapping, the blues are probably common blue and silver studded blue but very pretty against the yellow ragwort and purple knapweed. The large orange butterfly is a slightly worn out dark green fritillary.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
very like knapweed but the bracts lack the combs, and the leaves have small serrations. It was once used extensively to make dyes. It is not common, and we have only found it in this one place (Penny's piece) mixed in with the bladderseed.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
... as the fine weather shows signs of ending so the massive machines roll out to take in the harvest. They seem like great herbivorous dinosaurs plodding across the landscape, men perched on them like birds pecking at the parasites on buffalo
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
probably a meadow grass hopper (in that it was in a meadow although when I think about it I do not lurch about so why am I a lurcher?) This picture was taken with a Nikon Cool Pix 880 on its macro scene setting so you don't need a very flashy camera to get good close ups. Even I could take a good picture.
this is a bush cricket, although I am not sure whether it is a dark bush cricket or a brown bog bush cricket, probably the latter given that this was in swampy terrain, although when I checked out the cricket link I was caught out by the variety and left feeling completely uncertain. The thing on the back is an ovipositor (I think) indicating that this is a female.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
... and finally on this lovely July day, a skipper (hesperiidae), skipper for their darting about flight, this is the large skipper feeding on some knapweed in the Greenscombe meadows. Like lurchers they are described as primitive, being hairy with prominent eyes, and moth like ( as opposed to moth eaten).
summer evenings, bright hard light making the grasses shimmer in the hedgerows. Has there been a summer quite like this in recent years? And then we met the Rationalist out walking; I must say he is not nearly as scary in the flesh as he seems on the page. He told me he could see now why I got second prize ... do I do irony?
although knapweed is common it is a colourful plant. Knap means knob apparently. The bracts (the bits surrounding the petals) are marvellously complicated and shaped like little fringes or combs. Much loved by bees and butterflies. These sensible plants develop as males and then change to females, and were used to predict proximity of appropriate suitors.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
sheeps bit again but a much better photo taken in the lane up to Duchy College, and showing the delicate flower structure. It is in exactly the same place as two years ago. The sound of music from Whiteford is washing over us tonight, and then there will be fireworks to celebrate my birthday, and Cassie will hide her head under the bed and Uncle Max will have a fit.
This is not perfect (you can see the joins) but this a panorama of the village looking North West taken in May 2001 (4 BS) . It is about 5 photos joined together. It shows that Stoke Climsland is an absolutely enormous village with shops and houses and parks, not the tiny village described on Spotlight ...why have they named a programme after me and why haven't I been interviewed yet?? Anyway, Whiteford is to the left but not on this view from the Church tower.
love Spot (1.1 today)
Friday, July 21, 2006
this is an exotic species, known also as himalayan honeysuckle. There is a large specimen near Old Mill, presumably a garden escapee, and several smaller specimens in the woods nearby. It is not nutmeg of course, if only we would all be rich.
toute saine in Norman French, which means all healthy. The plant has antiseptic properties and was used to heal wounds. It looks quite exotic but is a native shrub. The berries are fleshy and turn black when ripe. The leaves are said to have the scent of ambergris when dryed. It is common in this area, and especially around Whiteford where an enormous concert is being held in honour of our birthday, I think, with TV cameras and everything.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
probably common centaury, another very pretty little flower, used extensively to cure all sorts of wounds including one suffered by the centaur Chiron, hence its name. It is very common around here but slow to flower except in this hot bright weather. These are certainly not dog days.
this slightly ragged looking butterfly is a comma, named for the almost imperceptible white comma shaped mark on the underside of the hind wings, smaller and less restless than the fritillary we saw on Sunday. By the way we were infested with ticks after our very long walk, hundreds of them, black ones orange ones red ones; it is very uncomfortable having them removed one by one, so watch out. Any ideas for the perfect tickicide? So far we have tried fairy liquid, WD40, frontline spray and spot, we refuse burning and freezing options.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
well what do I do now, actually I was checking the purity of the water and doing my seal impersonation. Did you know seals and dogs are probably very closely related and just about as intelligent as me. And we (well our wolf forebears) were here before there were any people at all, then the rivers were clean. Mum is doing her killer whale thing in the background.
another blue plant, skullcap. This one patch is deep in the woods by the Tamar. It is barely noticeable but it's in the same place every year. Skullcap for the odd little pouch shown in the close up below which is supposed to look like a roman soldier's leather pouch (scutellum)
Saturday, July 15, 2006
and finally on this day of pretty blue flowers, a little patch of sheeps bit growing in Gunnislake. Lisa Chaffer told dad where to look, which was very kind of her, although he had to drive up and down through upper, middle, and lower Dimson repeatedly to find it.
Friday, July 14, 2006
and turning from one proboscis to another this is an elephant hawk moth, probably small ( deilephila porcellus) but it is hard to know, that decided to volunteer to be Harriet's supper tonight. It escaped and flew off very happily to find more elephants to eat.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
on the betony was this largish moth which was making a very loud thrumming noise, presumably to scare us away. We cannot identify it but it has an odd yellow mark on its wing. Any ideas? Is it possibly a humming bird hawk moth? Maybe not, but it was very noisy. And it has alien looking green eyes
Sunday, July 09, 2006
on the path down to Old Mill. Almost everything you could ever want to know about this area is at the link, except the number of dogs who have won prizes. The lurcher environment domain of the English Indices of Dogivation 2004 focuses on the quality of dogs in the area using measures such as the quality of barking, chasing around and performance at shows. These Indices use lower level Super Output Areas which splits England into 32,482 smaller areas, and each of these areas is ranked, with rank 1 having the worst dogs and rank 32,482 the best dogs.
In these Indices the Stoke Climsland Ward is split into 2 parts - the part which contains the rest of the world and some of Stoke Climsland Parish is ranked at 11,620, and the part that contains the rest of Stoke Climsland Parish and Venterdon is ranked at 32,483.
eddy spinoni posing for Dad on the promise that he will show the picture to Harriet, and support Italy tonight, so "go the blues". It is not clear that I know what blue is given my dichromatic vision and lack of reference cones at appropriate wavelength, but so what the hell, France and Italy look all the same to me.
Now what about that portuguese dog called Ronaldo and his australian friend Roo?