Thursday, May 31, 2007

alien landscapes

on a wet and showery day silage bales and acres of plastic sheeting for maize lend strange colour to the landscape

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

yellow pimpernel

another attractive woodland flower, the yellow pimpernel, which unlike its scarlet cousin is always in flower.

troglodytes invade

wrens don't usually come this close, but this one was very keen to watch the compost being turned over.


as is the cowwheat. It is rumoured that there are lots of caterpillars on the cowwheat, so perhaps we will be lucky and see the return of the heath fritillary butterfly this year.

heath speedwell

this pretty little speedwell is very abundant in the woods this year.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

rat attack

an unwelcome visitor, very bold, very fast and very hungry. Rats 1 Lurchers 0 (reminiscent of yesterday's FA Cup Final).


a water picture shown solely because I like water pictures, especially from the Tamar

more spotted orchids

the first (from the left) is pink spotty and spiky

the second is paler, and less spotty

the third is very pale, much blunter spike and only a few spots. None of them have the characteristic wavy lower lip of heath spotted orchid, but all have only a very small middle lobe. I like to imagine (but doubt it) that these flowers are a new variety evolving before my very eyes in this very odd but special field.

heath orchids

three very different looking orchids, within 2 feet of each other; in fact they are probably all variants or crosses of heath spotted orchids, common spotted orchids and southern marsh orchids. See the next page for a closer look at each orchid.


this is (probably) a southern marsh orchid, growing next to some germander speedwell, in the meadows. There is only this single small patch in the whole area, under a hawthorn bush in the middle of a meadow.

Friday, May 18, 2007

dragon flies

it has been very grey and dreary for almost two weeks, but with the sun came this beautiful female libellula or darter dragon fly. Last year I blogged a similar male

Sunday, May 13, 2007

mock green

this young and slightly bedraggled greenfinch is sitting in the mock orange waiting for a turn on the peanuts. I like mock orange and the scent is lovely but for some reason whenever it comes into flower it starts raining and then rains for weeks on end.

Monday, May 07, 2007

enjoying the wet

the Venterdon three enjoying an afternoon out on the pond.

bowling down the years

Stoke Sports club held a May day fete on the village green. Unfortunately, the weather turned wet late yesterday which was very bad luck and probably put some people off but the sun was out later in the afternoon.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

pink bugle

this is pink bugle, a rare colour variant of bugle which is usually blue(see below). Every year, same place, same plant (only one).

a chat of some sort

this bird, sat on the top of a gorse bush, singing its heart out would do for either a stone or whinchat, but I guess it must be a whinchat. If you wonder why it is hard to get better pictures, spot the same bird in the picture below. It is a demonstration of how good the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens is.

Lynher river again

the banks of the Lynher are covered in ramsons, the wild garlic.

mayflower meadows

meadow in the Lynher valley, full of buttercups and mayflowers (cardamine pratensis).

Thursday, May 03, 2007

not suitable for arachnophobes

this could be an example of the false black widow spider (steatoda grossa, and very gross indeed) that has been in the news recently but probably isn't. The ghoulish sight to the bottom left is either last year's skin, or a recent meal. The dogs left it well alone.

take me to your leader

a cockchafer (or May bug) paid a flying visit last night. They are very slow and noisy fliers and the dogs can easily catch them in mid air, this seems rather a waste of the long haul they have from larvae to adult. The antennae on the males (as here) have a very elaborate and odd looking .design

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

in the bluebell glade

bluebell glade, Kelly Bray woods, painting by PaintshopPro from an original photo. The bluebells are abundant this year.