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Live for today but work for everyone's tomorrow! Any views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any organisation/institution I am affiliated with.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Twilight Wildlife at Midsummer

In the clover field on a warm evening and under a setting sun, a roe deer buck is lying the clover enjoying the cooling breeze coming up the hill. He is quite well hidden and cannot be seen from the nearby path.  The light conditions make photography tricky, so the images are a little blurry. 

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Midsummer badgers on the lawn.

 These full grown badgers come into the garden every night for some snacks and probably also some water. It is hot this midsummer and again the ground, as back in May, has become hard and difficult for them to excavate in their eternal search for worms. A few snacks may help them during this difficult time. 

And here is a close-up!

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Just a little roe deer at dusk!

The sun was setting and he quietly walked into the field, which was not long mowed but in which, as you can see the clover has recovered fast and other wild flowers are in bloom.

He paused to 'beat up' a taller plant - a ragwort I think - and then he sat down closed his eyes and rested.

This is the time of the 'rut' for the roe deer, when the males compete for the females and he may have been tired and he may have been defeated but it was nice to see him, so here are some photos and a short snippet of film.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

On the Somerset Levels - July 2020

Where great canals cut across the flatlands and a national nature reserve abuts an RSPB one.

Photographs from the Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve and RSPB's Ham Wall on a day of sunshine and heavy rain. A day when small and colourful snails left the grass to rashly cross the path and when many mother swans showed off their young families. 

The great Glastonbury Canal
The great Glastonbury Canal

One of the colourful snails of the fenlands

Canada geese

Young mute swan

Sibling swans

A young coot

A successful pair of mute swan parents

This mother or father seems to be a single parent but is exceptionally efficient at keeping their brood in line.

A spectacular great white egret - a species that has been breeding in the UK only since 2012 

Great crested grebe on the nest - maybe time for a second brood.

Red admiral on blackberry blossom.

Sunday, 19 July 2020

The Beautiful Bugs of Mid-Summer

Butterflies are the sentinels of summer - markers of sunshine and warmth.

Peacock butterfly shining in the late afternoon light.

Silver-washed fritillary - a beautiful big orange butterfly - with grey 'washed' underwings.

The red admiral.

Bumble bee on pincushion flower 

Red admiral again/

Common solider beetles enjoying a party on a platform of hog weed flowers.

The eggs of a butterfly - a couple have hatched. The butterfly is the small white or cabbage white and the food plant is my cabbages! The patch of eggs is about 4mm across.

And here they are just hatched and hungry.

Small white (adult)

Another peacock.

And another...

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Southstoke in the sun

A little to the south of Bath sits the pretty village of  South Stoke. 

It consists of a tumble of buildings on a hillside facing south, including many that are listed for protection.The buildings are mainly built of local cream-coloured limestone, which shines in the sunshine and, at the village centre, are an ancient pub, an old church, and a strong sense of community.

The Somerset Coal Canal used to run near by. Traces of it can be found in the adjacent woods and fields. 
During the lock-down, the pub, the Pack Horse – a community-run project – set itself up to provide a range of basic groceries to the local community (and some drinks) – handing them out on a trestle table outside the main door to help maintain social distancing. 
Elsewhere, in an old vault, a help-yourself village shop was established providing things like flour, which was very hard to find elsewhere.
Anyway, here are a few images of the village and the countryside around it in mid-summer.

The Priory - a touch of Gothic Tudor in the centre of the village.

A view along one of the streets.

A pretty gate-house (also with a touch of Gothic) - The Lodge (somewhere behind lurks a major manor).

The village shop (temporary)

Another view of The Rectory.

Here is the Packhorse. 

And some hollyhocks.

Wonderful adjacent countryside.

Another view of the the shop.

Door panel - The Priory

View toward the old barn.

St James the Great

And some dates:

The Priory was built around 1860
St James the Great dates back to the 14th century
The Pack Horse - largely rebuilt 1674 and became a pub in the mid 1800s.