Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
a silver washed fritillary (female), the largest of our native fritillary butterflies, feeding on brambles. It is called silver washed because unlike other fritillaries which have spotted underwings, the underwings have a streaked or washed appearance.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Spot and I are feeling very despondent for reasons that can be understood by studying the difference between these two meadows. The bottom meadow is in France and is full of wild flowers, the top meadow is nearby and has little in it other than thistles and trefoil. The total lack of species diversity in our home meadows makes them a biological desert. Why oh why is the agricultural pound valued so much more than the life pound? Just a little bit of husbandry (care) creates an environment where wild life and flora can flourish without detracting from our ability to feed ourselves. The French appear much more sympathetic to the rhythm and demands of Nature and practice a traditional agriculture that sustains the wild. We try to be optimistic and open and to share the joy of life here but the land is being suffocated by greed and idleness.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
like the Red Arrows, a group of swifts hurtle past, screaming at each other. I saw plenty of swifts in France but these are the first I have seen here this year. Where have they been? Notice team leader at top left. This bird maintained the same relative position as the group flew across and around the sky.
looking remarkably like a twig this caterpillar is climbing back to safety in the canopy of a wild cherry tree on a silken thread. The detail of the imitation is fascinating, even down to what look life leaf buds.
and finally, a self portrait of the artist at work. Spot is happy to allow his photographer to have a day in the sun now that he is out of the kennels. The studio in Rodes belongs to our friend Shelagh Hickman, an original and colourful artist. Please visit her web site.
the Brest Canal plus egret, a very white looking bird with black wing tips suggests it was a solitary cattle egret but no firm conclusion was reached after much discussion with local wild life experts. Napoleon canalised a river to produce this lovely canal. To keep away from the belligerent English?? I don't believe it.
Some sort of fritillary feeding on wild thyme. There are so many different species of fritillary that it is hard to identify them without expert knowledge and some luck. French butterflies seem unusually frisky.
It might have been a dog's life for some these last two weeks but some of us were having a good time. These pictures illustrate what we have lost by allowing our meadows and wilderness to be destroyed. This is a good picture to start with for someone who is green(ish) with envy
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
we have been sent to dog alcatraz, the magnolia coloured house in the middle of this picture, miles from anywhere on the side of Kit Hill. There is no escape. Sentence is indeterminate but we will protest. Help! No further communication is allowed, but don't forget us we will be back. Who is France anyway?