Category Archives: Flora/Fauna

Horse chestnut

Friday 18th November 2022, 10.05am (day 4,103)

Horse chestnut, 18/11/22

Last day in Oxford on this trip. While having a cup of tea outside the museum (in the same place depicted on Tuesday), in more pleasant sunshine, my eye was caught by the profuse fruit on this horse chestnut tree. In my youth all these would have been harvested for the playing of conkers, but apparently Health & Safety has done for that tradition, at least officially. Mind you, all of these were some distance up in the air, so I guess they will come down in their own time.

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Castle Mill Stream, Oxford

Tuesday 15th November 2022, 3.20pm (day 4,100)

Back to Oxford, so I can perform an aspect of my job that still does bring pleasure, and sit in a library for at least two days. The walk to my accommodation took place partly along this stream, a branch of the Thames. Perhaps I did this shot, in spirit, on Saturday, but I’m doing it again. Note the heron hanging around inconspicuously in the centre, hoping that the prey won’t notice it.

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On the water, Brighouse

Saturday 12th November 2022, 1.15pm (day 4,097)

Duck on canal, 12/11/22

High pressure and warm air idling up from Spain, apparently, made this surely the warmest and most pleasant November 12th in my lifetime — even on St Helena last year it was not as nice as this. I refuse to consider this a bad thing: not on the day, at least. I’m sure the ducks think it’s better than the alternative as well.

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Busted by the jackdaws

Thursday 27th October 2022, 9.45am (day 4,081)

Two jackdaws, 27/10/22

“That human is taking surreptitious bird shots again.”

“Hah! All that stuff about ‘not repeating himself’… Such rubbish. We’ve been on here before, I’m sure.”

“Yes, I remember that one. Glad you’re talking to me again now.”

“Hmmm, well, I’m still a bit miffed with you but I’m getting over it.”

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Robin Poser

Wednesday 26th October 2022, 2.55pm (day 4,080)

Robin poser, 26/10/22

What is it with robins as a species — why are they, more than any other type of wild bird, so completely unfazed by being a few feet away from a human? Not only that, but a human who has stopped walking, and is pointing a camera at them? This one even hopped from side to side for a minute, offering me a selection of poses. This one won. I hope he approves.

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Thora the Mogwai

Tuesday 25th October 2022, 4.25pm (day 4,079)

Thora the mogwai, 25/10/22

Thora is, of course, not a mogwai — the creature that spawns the Gremlins in the movie of that name — but she sure looks like one.

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Morning moon, and leaves

Monday 17th October 2022, 9.50am (day 4,071)

Moon and leaves, 17/10/22

I guess it would be nice to have got both the moon and the leaves in focus, but that would only be possible with a long zoom, and I was standing just below the tree as I took this one. In any case I was aiming more for the nice combination of colours and shapes, and capturing the vivid blue of the sky as the backdrop to it all.

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Staying above it all

Saturday 1st October 2022, 11.05am (day 4,055)

Pigeon scrum, 1/10/22

A pigeon food-fight, a moshpit of grain consumption, of a kind that must say something about how evolution will progress for this species, though what that is, we don’t yet know. The one in the middle seems to be staying above it all, however. But probably he’s just taking a quick breather.

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House guest and its private larder

Tuesday 20th September 2022, 1.20pm (day 4,044)

Spider and larder, 20/9/22

I haven’t been getting about much over the last couple of days. Point the camera up at roughly a 45ยบ angle from where I took yesterday’s shot, and you will catch our tenant spider in your viewfinder. I noticed today that she’s built up quite a larder for herself. Fine by me: at least all these critters aren’t eating the houseplants.

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Floral design, as you see

Saturday 17th September 2022, 11.35am (day 4,041)

Floral design, 17/9/22

I like it when you get these built-in labels for a picture. My job of description is done.

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