|And from us too!|
Champagne Shoot - Setting up. While we were staying with Susan and Roddy in the Charente-Maritime we decided to do a little photo shoot. Susan had found a terrific wicker ch...
|One of my brother's pictures... the yellow feet are very clear in this shot.|
|There's something crawling on my box!|
|You can see his "beak" piercing the skin...|
|Sunk right in... drinking Kia-Ora...|
|A side shot of him taking a short shot!!|
|Just before he left...|
|Somewhere, beyond the trees, is a wood!|
|Click to enlarge these... the Golden Plover are the pale birds... and you can see why the Lapwing is also the Green Plover.|
|About a quarter of the way from the left in the first picture... and a third in on this... is a breeding plumage Golden Plover.|
|And in this picture he has walked fully into view... just at the bottom, in the group of three, on the left...|
he has a black belly, and a white patch just under the golden back.
|On the forest floor...|
|On the table at the end....|
|From a slightly different angle.|
|A small chunk of the main piece, sawn in half to show the colour all through the wood.|
|Here the edge of the advancing mycelium can be seen... almost fluorescent!|
|Here the mycelium are attacking another wood decaying fungi, as well as the wood!|
|This is a Tunbridgeware matchbox holder... the 'blue' can clearly be seen.|
|This example is much more complex, but again the blue/green wood has been used.|
|This is not the normal appearance... it was growing upwards from a stump apparently....|
|This 'slab of meat' appearance is more common... appetising, non? [from the Preuilly foray.]|
|Speltered wood... There are two fungi at work here... one leaving a pinky-brown colour... the other a grey-brown.|
|Golden Leaves |
A Norway Maple at its very best.
|A lone Field Maple... |
glowing at the edge of the wood.
|Autumn colour |
Two yellow Field Maples and a very red Sumac give colour to this view.
[The evergreens provide contrast.]
|Three Trees Four|
Four [yes, four,] Norway Maples... but one has no leaves.
|On Golden Pond|
Just a bit of Photoshop fun...
|The main meadow... awash from end to end.|
The bright reflections are from the water... under our big willows...
in the recently ploughed field on the far bank...
and from the reflection beyond the big willows to the new willows on the right...
the rather 'flat' appearance of the grass is caused by the flowing water.
There is even some on the plateau where the forge stood...
look at the reflection of the sky...
just beyond the wood pile in the foreground....
the highest ground on that bank!!
|Grand Café Créme anyone?|
This is the view the other side of the new willows in the previous photograph.
Silty water doing our meadow some good... but...
Silty water covering the recently recovered weed in the bief!
As I complete this blog entry for posting....
there is still standing water in the ditch between the two meadow areas
|A very small part of a strung out movement of pigeons... open it in a separate window to view the numbers.|
(I took three pictures to try and show the length... but they didn't stitch together.)
|That spider had better watch out...|
|but no, he had other things on his mind!|
|You can see how it is pushing its body into available cracks....|
|....and threading the tail into crevasses|
|Picture taken July 4th '06|
|Female, male, first year male? Who knows... |
whichever, this bird was sitting where our kitchen sink now is...
behind the newly installed double-glazed windows.
The only way in was via the owl-slot in the gable end.
This brood was raised successfully and so was a second.
[Picture taken 17th July '07]
The 2008 broods were raised in what is now our guest room!
The loft hatch was in place by 2009!!
Does the male have his main moult at the end of summer, just before migration... which makes sense as it gives the bird new feathers just before the long flight... and a moult of the worn primaries just after mating. And it would make sense for two reasons... firstly, he renews his feathers just before he has to do a lot of hunting... and secondly, he can get into a plumage that makes him less obvious!
I ask this because we find the black wing primaries up in the longère's grenier... a reasonably safe place to "undress"! With a food supply on hand amongst the beams, too.
In which case, the female may well have a moult whilst she is sitting and being fed by the male... it makes evolutionary sense... she wouldn't waste energy moulting before, as all her spare energy is going into the eggs. But, as she remains the same colour all year, we can't really tell.
The Black Redstart is a 'short distance' migrant... like the Robin... if we see them here in winter, they won't be 'our' Black Redstarts. Ours are probably in Spain... but no further south than Morocco or Algieria.
|You can clearly see the rusty-red breast and the white forehead that identify him as a male Redstart.|
|This is one of my piles with the nearest part removed... |
you can just make out the dark shadow of two runs in the foreground.
|Which once all the grass is removed reveals a network...|
|... and this is a closer view of the network in the foreground...|
|...and, by the blade of grass in the middle of the previous picture was the entrance to the underground world.|
|This is a "day bed"... a place where the vole can lay up and eat fresh gatherings whilst under cover.|
|A latrine.... The bright green droppings are the freshest.|
1] Probable Jay or Woodpecker
2] Again bird damage... Jay? But with a bit of nibbling.
3] Rodent... very untidy... Rat or Squirrel
4] Rodent... neater... probably Field Mouse [voles are even tidier!]
|You can see clearly where the sharp tip of the upper mandible has pierced the scale.|
"The trade in bees used for honey or to pollinate crops could have a devastating impact on wild bees and other insects, say scientists.To read about this... follow this link
New measures are needed to stop diseases carried by commercial bees spilling over into the wild, says a University of Exeter team.
Evidence suggests bees bred in captivity can carry diseases that could be a risk to native species."
"People who fail to control the spread of invasive non-native plants such as Japanese Knotweed could be fined or receive anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos), the UK government says."To read about this... follow this link
"In the past few years there has been a "wild food" boom with celebrity chefs heading for the great outdoors in search of fresh ingredients. So, how practical is it to live solely on wild food? And does spurning the supermarket, as some critics have claimed, make you just a bit annoying?"To read about this... follow this link