Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Whale in Danger: Call to action.

Here are some words from me on the current grave concerns around the whaling issue - published by my friends at Humane Society Australia: Click HERE to read.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

Expedition to Exmoor


I am fortunate in not living far from Exmoor - one of the UK's national parks. This means I can easily head out that way with the family for a short break in a wildlife-rich landscape of moors, cliffs and woods. This visit finds the fields yellow and brown and coincides with the breaking of a hot summer drought. 

Low clouds creep along the fringes of Woody Bay bringing moisture to the woodlands that coat the steep cliffs. 
A Jay high in a conifer: Woody Bay

Bumblebee - one of hundreds harvesting pollen in a lavender bed: Tapley House

Young blue tit - perhaps experiencing its first rainfall: Woody Bay


Great spotted woodpecekrs at the bird feeder: Woody Bay


'Lyn': Woody Bay Station 

A blanket of cloud creeps across the Devon landscape
Lesser Horseshoe Bats via the 'batcam' at Arlington Court. The bats have their large babies wrapped in their wings
Silhouetted raven: Arlington House
More creeping clouds around Woody Bay
Delicate fungi: Watersmeet


Grey wagtail: Watersmeet
Young robin: Watersmeet
Speckled Wood: Woody Bay
Red Admiral: Valley of the Rocks
Common Blue near Lee Abbey

The Gatekeeper: Braughton Burrows


Kestrel: Braughton Burrows
'Dune bunny': Braughton Burrows
Hare: Braughton Burrows

Waterfall neat Watersmeet
Brown trout: East Lyn River


Saturday, 7 July 2018

An evening stroll - Bath Midsummer



When the author and poet Thomas Hardy came to Bath town it must have been at a time when the ancient Roman baths that give the town its name were still being excavated. Below reproduced is the poem he titled Aquae Sulis - the Roman name for the town. Whilst his poem points to a very different time - something of the stillness he captures applied well yesterday evening. 

The chimes called midight, just at interlune,
And the daytime talk on the Roman investigations
Was checked by silence, save for the husky tune
The bubbling waters played near the excavations.

And a warm air came up from underground,
And a flutter, as of a filmy shape unsepulchred,
That collected itself, and waited, and looked around:
Nothing was seen, but utterances could be heard:

Those of the goddess whose shrine was beneath the pile
Of the God with the baldachined altar overhead:
'And what did you get by raising this nave and aisle
Close on the site of the temple I tenanted?

'The notes of your organ have thrilled down out of view
To the earth-clogged wrecks of my edifice many a year,
Though stately and shining once - ay, long ere you
Had set up crucifix and candle here.

'Your priests have trampled the dust of mine without rueing,
Despising the joys of man whom I so much loved,
Though my springs boil on by your Gothic arcades and pewing,
And sculptures crude…. Would Jove they could be removed!'

' - Repress, O lady proud, your traditional ires;
You know not by what a frail thread we equally hang;
It is said we are images both - twitched by peoples desires;
And that I, as you, fail as a song that men time agone sang!' . . . . . . .

And the olden dark hid the cavities late laid bare,
And all was suspended and soundless as before,
Except for a gossamery noise fading off in the air,
And the boiling voice of the waters' medicinal pour. 







Friday, 6 July 2018

Fledglings on show

Young blue tit
and again!


young black bird

young robin


young magpie - very shy (note fluffy knickerbockers)

Not a bird... but a day-flying moth: beautiful Scarlet Tiger


Waterfowl Mid-summer

The ducklings on the canal are growing up.....
those that have survived!

Sleepy in the warm sunshine - mum keeps watch.


A successful mum - seven ducklings still going.

There are young waterfowl elsewhere too - here on Chew Lake:

Mother mute swan and single offspring

Canada goose and gosling

Half-grown Canada goose