Wednesday, April 30, 2014

things we find in the attic

It is little surprise that we seem to have a lot of wasps about in the late summer. There were at least three of these beautifully constructed wasp's nests in our attic. No bats thank goodness. And the martins returned today although after a brief reconnaissance of the old nest site they didn't stay.

cuckoo pint

Lords and Ladies (aka cuckoo pint and other scurrilous names ) in flower. Almost all have the tip of the spadix eaten away. Wiki states that many small rodents appear to find the spadix particularly attractive and it is common to find examples of the plant with much of the spadix eaten away. The spadix has a distinctive, unpleasant smell, and manages to generate a lot of heat (up to 15 degrees C above ambient temperature) and it may be this that attracts mice etc.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

interior landscapes (moss Spot)

It looks like an oriental landscape of woods and rocky escarpments, in fact it is the small landscape of a moss covered wall

Thursday, April 17, 2014

keeping up with the longs

the first, rather tattered looking speckled wood of the year. These butterflies over winter as caterpillars or chrysalides, so this must be a newly hatched butterfly. It has certainly seen some rough times already.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

witches broom

witches broom is a common sight locally, and is the result of a fascinating and ill understood process whereby bacteria harness and corrupt the growth pattern of plant cells, see link. This occurs at a deep metabolic level and may help us to understand the way genes control growth and development... of such simple things are advances made.


Small but very noisy, chiffchaffs are easy to detect on bare branches where they make their incessant and tuneless call, chiff chaff chiff chaff .

Monday, April 14, 2014

we're back

The swallows are back. I saw two last Friday (11/4). Usually these early birds fly on, but this year they are already investigating the nest they built last year in our neighbour's porch, and flying around the house (hence photo). I think this is the earliest that I have recorded them returning since 2005. There are some beautiful views now just before the leaves open and the canopy closes in.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

on Weir Quay

It was a lovely sunny morning, and the cherry tree in front of Cleave farm was in full blossom. Usually at this time of year we get gales as the trees come into bloom just in time to be blown away.

on Weir Quay

We paid a visit to Weir Quay this morning. There were surprisingly few wading birds about apart from this grey heron, and a couple of shelducks waddling about. The black flight feathers on the grey heron are very noticeable. The male shelduck (the one on the left) has a little red knob at the top of his beak, otherwise the male and female are very similar.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

yellow does it

This spectacular display of daffodils, forsythia and celandines is on the road (A388) into Launceston; it gets better and better each year. And a grey wagtail!