Monday, 22 May 2017

Covenham

Following the torrential rain of Saturday, Sunday started beautifully sunny and reasonably warm. I decided it was time for a trip to Covenham Reservoir hoping there would be some sailing action to watch. We arrived getting on for 2 o'clock but the first boat was only just being launched:

IMG_4617

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We went for a walk along the footpath which circles the reservoir to see what wildlife was about.
Not a lot really, at least not along the area we walked. My joints are no longer up to walking the full 2+ miles it takes to walk right round and Penny was getting quite warm even though it had clouded over.

A few ducks:
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and the odd gull:
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no Wagtails this time, maybe later in the year.

I kept my eye on the only bit of activity:

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As we were about to leave it looked as though there would be more activity later on:

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but it was time to go back to the car and let Penny have a well deserved drink of water.

Finally a short part of our journey back.
Leaving the reservoir car park and travelling through the two villages called Covenham. They are adjoining and each has its own CofE church.



Some information about  Covenham can be seen on the GENUKI site.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Five Years of Retirement

Not me. Penny. How time flies. Five years since she joined me.
It's a hard life supervising me as I potter round the garden.

My 40 mph couch potato:
DSCN7227 Penny


Weather yesterday.
Just a bit on the wet side:
Weather 17 May 2017

More rain (38mm 1.5in) in one day than the whole of last month.
UV has been up to 7 on this scale recently. Well down yesterday.
Same thing with solar radiation which recently reached 700 - 800 watts/sq m..

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Scarce Fungus Weevil

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

I was about to move a planter I have hanging on the fence when I spotted what at first I thought was a dollup of bird dung but on closer examination turned out to be alive:

 Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

It was such a strange looking creature the like of which I had not seen before.
I just had to take several photos from different angles to give me a chance of identifying it:

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Scarce Fungus Weevil - Platyrhinus resinosus

Next job was to find an identification. I ended up on the Naturespot web site and after scrolling through dozens of bug photos eventually found a perfect match.
Size: about 10mm. Common name: Cramp-ball Fungus Weevil.

This weevil is not as scarce as its name would suggest.
You can see more information on this page at Naturespot.
 

 

Orchid Pruning Scissors

Found these little beauties on eBay.
Also on Amazon and could well be available at other places:

Orchid Scissors

Total length about 6.5 inches (17cm) with sturdy sharp stainless steel blades. Spring effective but doesn't need a lot of effort to close the blades and cut flower stems. They are ideal for getting into tight spaces without damaging surrounding foliage.  Soft grip handles are comfortable to hold and use. Not just for Orchids of course. Prices seem to vary between £6 and £9.


Monday, 15 May 2017

Growing

There are quite a few large frog tadpoles swimming round the garden pond:

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My one and only large strawberry plant grown from seed continues to develop:

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Early strawberry plants (Vibrant), bought bare root and listed as fruiting next year, are producing flowers for this year:

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A couple of Outdoor Girl tomato plants in an automatic watering system are now showing their first flower buds:

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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Poor, But the Best So Far

Had to stop and watch a while when I saw two Swallows flying around as we went walkabout mid-morning today. Fortunately they eventually settled on an old outhouse which is being converted though quite a distance away even on full zoom:

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a cropped version:

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Disappointing clarity though probably the best I've managed to date with Swallow photography.


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus lapidarius, probably a queen, just outside the back door this morning:

Red-tailed bumblebee

Red-tailed bumblebee

Red-tailed bumblebee

Quite lethargic as it was still fairly cool outside.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wordless Wednesday

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Phalaenopsis


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Cymbidium

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Manby Church

As our Post Ofice was closed years ago and the remaining village shop is closed for about three months while extensive alterations are made I had to go to the next village to do a bit of shopping. As it was beautifully sunny, though with a bitter wind, I decided to take a look round the outside of their church.

The tower from the west end:
Manby Church

and from the north side:
Manby Church

A closer view of the entrance porch:
Manby Church

Around the top of the tower are the inevitable gargoyles:
Manby Church

Manby Church

Manby Church

A close view of one of the spire pinnacles which stand atop each corner of the tower:
 Manby Church

Taking photos with a camera with a decent power of zoom lens is one of few ways to get a decent view of intricate carvings which are so high up.

A few of the grave markers:
Manby Church

Manby Church

Manby Church

Don't often see any this shape.
Difficult to tell from the photo that both taper along their length:
Manby Church

Another day I must have a look round inside.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Inside the Can

Have tried a few times to photograph the Robin nest inside the discarded watering can.
The best so far, best being a relative term .....

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A crop from that photo showing three nestlings:

Robin Nest in a watering can

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Watering Can Robins

I have been spending many a happy time watching the Robin couple taking food to the brood they are raising in an abandoned watering can in the garden.

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Robins and Watering Can 2

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It is quite astounding just how frequently the parents are arriving with food for the youngsters. They are going to be thoroughly shattered by the time they fledge.

The collage was put together using the Mac app PhotoTangler which blends the edges of adjacent photos.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Blackbird Singing

I don't care how much the wind blows I'm going to sing:


Friday, 28 April 2017

Blackbird Family

Well, dad and two of the three kids. One moved away just as I started to take photographs.

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Where can I find some more food:
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I'll try here:
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That wasn't much of a beak full, try again:
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And so it went on for several minutes.

A short while later I spotted a Jackdaw in the same place:

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Don't see those very often in my garden.
 
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