Sunday, 24 June 2012

The biter bit

I didn't know Philip had taken this photo, the rascal. For those who feel that angling is cruel and causes uneccessary suffering, enjoy this at my expense

Philip and I went fishing last Tuesday, enjoying the warm sunshine and perfect day. Using a barbless hook this Carp was landed, with the fishook inside its mouth but somehow the shank was towards its throat. Dont ask me how it did it, but as I slid my finger in to try to release the hook, the fish flapped and my finger became firmly embedded on the hook.  I couldnt pull my finger out without harming the fish, so I had to use a disgorger to keep the hook in place and tear my finger free, after which the fish spat the hook out all by itself and was put back in the water leaving me with a bleeding finger!!

Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs!

Yesterday evening, against my take on the weather forecast, and as a break from the boredom of watching France vs Spain, yawn (dire wasn't it?**)
I set up the old moth trap in the howling gale, ignoring the forecast of more rain (oh goody).
Weighted it down with a brick and sheltered it under a garden table
(** If you're not into moths then this blog could be about as exciting as last night's football) 
Took it in first thing, enjoying the soft summer rain and warmth - before brewing the tea I might add - had a quick look, nothing visible at first
After breakfast and chores, went to dry the trap out. To my immense surprise I found 38 moths of 17 species therein. Even better, in the first egg box there were 11 moths of 5 species, Common Pug, Shoulder Striped Wainscot being new to the "garden list", and Tawny Marbled Minor a new species for this year
The Common Pug declined to be photographed and headed for the door at speed, obviously well brought up!

Here are 3 of those in the first egg box

 This is the Shoulder Striped Wainscot ignoring a Silver Y - presumably they not been introduced

This is the Tawny Marbled Minor, as usual for my garden a dark specimen, also showing signs of wear and tear. Hardly surprising considering the weather

Just to give an impression of it's size, and yes I know my thumbnail's a mess

This may be a Shears, but could be a Lychnis - this specimen is quite well worn whatever it is

Dark Arches, another new one for the year, I shall still be finding these in the trap come the autumn (tomorrow if this weather continues)

This is another small macro moth, a Marbled Minor, which often shows great colour variation here

This almost pristine moth is a Double Square Spot

Maybe tonight's footer could be more exciting, but somehow I doubt it

Monday, 11 June 2012

Cheriton Hill - mostly

First of all I struggled up to the far end of the cliffs to look at the sea, Friday. There was too much salt and spray in the wind for any spectacular photos and the gale made keeping the camera steady almost impossible. This pic gives some idea of the view, you just have to imagine the wind!

On Sunday morning in much less wind we walked along the crest of Cheriton Hill to Peene
and back along the foot through the "New" Biggins Wood. A few Common Blue butterflies about 
 A suprise in the grass above the Hills Reservoir was this Common Blue Damselfly, a really intense and beautiful blue, must have only recently emerged


We also found 2 small colonies of Late Spider Orchids

and a funnel web spider's front door

almost the commonest bird along the hill was Yellowhammer, smashing

continuing the yellow theme, there were also several Yellow Shell moths in flight

and would someone please remind me of the name of these beautiful little yellow flowers, there were carpets of them

if this was smellyblog you dcould enjoy the scent of this Fragrant Orchid

only a few Common Spotted Orchids found, mostly at the foot of the scarp

back at home later yesterday we found this dragonfly larval case beside the pond, and another among the lilies, so at least 2 have emerged recently, tho' I haven't seen them yet

also this abandoned Wasp starter home, both to show the grandchildren when they called

this first Elephant Hawkmoth was also saved from the trap to show them, always a favourite

this morning there was this Dark Arches, a first for the year

and these 2 very different Common Swifts

and that's all folks

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

South Foreland Light

The South Foreland light was illuminated yesterday all night through as part of Her Majesty's Jubilee celebration beacon network. I believe the National Trust had to jump through lots of hoops with the MCA and Trinity House, though. We walked up to the lighthouse for about 9.30 when it was still twilight. The air was as clear as crystal and it looked possible to reach out and touch France. In addition the moon was playing hide and seek in the clouds, it was all very spectacular

There was a goodly crowd on site and lots of fun being had while we waited for the 10.01pm lightup. The lighthouse looked good enough without the lamp going

Promptly on time the light was duly lit, and behold, for the first time in 20 years apparently

The moon looked huge when clear of the clouds, this colour is a bit orange but not far off 

We enjoyed our tour of the lighthouse at 10.40 as booked, and the view from the top was simply stunning, although I had to struggle with the camera to get even this poor shot

 Well done to the National Trust, an excellent event which we hear something over 850 people attended, many times more than the millennium sunrise

Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Great St Margarets Teddy Bear Parachute Jump

This is the well-known television star Shirley the Sheep suitably kitted out in a knitted safety helmet in preparation for this stupendous event today

The idea was that children could bring their Teddy Bears to be given a parachute ride down from the church tower as part of the village's Jubilee celebrations. Neve volunteered her friend Shirley for this challenge which was shared by at least one alligator, some dogs and many favourite teddy bears - great fun

Diane was in charge of launching the entrants from the tower and evidently enjoyed the event as much as anybody

This is how it was all meant to happen

of course, the Wells' effort had to be different, as you can see - just as well the tower is substantial and in good condition bearing in mind Shirley's bulk!!