Tuesday, 19 April 2016


I won't bore you with too many details - though I'm tempted to. I could go on and on about laptops. The important thing though is to say I have a new one. There! Self restraint!

Given that the only thing I want to talk about is adventures with laptops . . . I'm finding it hard to say anything useful or interesting about plants.

My old one started making fizzing electrical noises. It was quite sca . . . no!

Here are some bluebells. English or hybrid or . . . ( ? ? ? ?) - yellow pollen, drooping heads, curled up edges.

The Plantlife site has information about how to tell them from Spanish ones.

And beside them are hawthorn trees. The flower buds are pretty but once they've opened they get bashed around by rain which comes in sharp bursts then goes.

But not everything is lovely. In a moment I'm going to show you something quite gruesome. If you are brave, a doctor, a nurse or a vampire you may have no trouble . . . I'm hoping you'll be interested but I'd better let you know in advance so you won't scroll too far ahead if you don't want to. (There will be a second warning so you can keep reading for the moment)

Being at last able to use a laptop (. . . why do they sell ones so shoddy one has to take them back to the sh . . . NO!) . . . having a laptop means there's been a point to carrying my camera again so I've been pottering around without a theme; simply re-visiting old places to see what's going on and where. Remember the sycamore in a drain? It's still there!

In a minute, I'm going to show you part of a dead gull and a clear photo of some of its insides. In the meantime . . . here's an ant on a front door.

The gull was on the grassy bank beside the bluebells and hawthorn trees. Its head was missing, its guts exposed and its entrails stretched straight. I'm sparing you somewhat. This is only part of the picture - but it was an interesting opportunity.

When I found a dead goose on a beach I was able to photograph it in detail and I would have liked to do the same with this bird but instead of the trees protecting me from a new onset of rain, the onset of rain was knocking drops from an earlier shower onto my camera. So I beat a retreat.

I photographed this first. I don't know what body part it is. Do you? I've never seen the inside of a gull before!

And a few footsteps further - more bluebells.

It's all nature!

It's good to be back, it's good to be back, hello! hello!

We go way back with the sycamore in the drain. Click here and you'll see it in April and May 2012.

Thursday, 11 February 2016


Turkey oak twig, high in a tree, against blue sky.
This twig is right at the top of the tree.

A short note to say there may be some short posts coming up.

I've learned a few tricks to keep my laptop going. It's still a nuisance so I won't be pounding out millions of pictures and mountains of information but there will be more than there has been of late.

* * *
Here's a challenge I delight in at this time of year - will I get any decent pictures of Turkey Oak twigs? (The new growth is so twiddly!)

The next challenge will be Turkey Oak flowers. (Little red blobs.) After that, spring should be plain sailing.

I don't know if you've already noticed but I've added a few links under the 'Identifying Things' tab.

Sometimes information is grouped into topics but mostly I add to the foot of the list so it's generally easy to find new entries.

You can get clicking straight away, here they are:

A GUIDE TO TREE IDENTIFICATION - on Woodlands.co.uk  - a site where you can buy woodland!
NATURE GUIDE UK - Very straightforward. Click 'bees' and you get bees. Click 'grasshoppers' and that's what you'll get. Point at a picture - it'll tell you what it is.
iNATURALIST - try pottering around it.
BIRD LIBRARY - An illustrated list of some common British birds. (Page on Vine House Farm site selling seed etc. for wild birds.)
AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES - Pictorial guide to UK amphibians and reptiles. On the Froglife site.

(P.S. Hi, everyone!)

Sunday, 29 November 2015


Man on Chesil Beach looks out to sea.
I've nearly gone. There was to be another book review before the sleep-tight round up but I decided if I couldn't say anything nice about it, it would be pointless even to mention. So now I need the wind to calm and the sun to come out so I can trot around with my camera to say a temporary 'Goodbye' to the plants and trees and streets which form the subject matter for this blog.

But I can't let you miss today.

This was here at mid-day. It's not a sea to swim in, to paddle in or to surf in. It's a sea to die in. You go too close at your peril.

This man is not as close as he seems. Chesil Beach goes down in steps so although it looks as though he is standing at the edge of the surf, he isn't. The sea is below him - which may give you an idea of the size of these waves.

There were lots of people. By 'lots' I suppose at any one time there were a dozen. But they were coming and going - and virtually every one of them with a camera. I have not done justice to this sea - but the air was dense with salt and spray. It was reckless. Cameras don't like salt and spray. But I wasn't the only one who couldn't resist it. (Camera menders may be in for a bonanza!)

Incidentally, the black blodge on the waves is a huge mat of seaweed.