Tag Archives: nature

Orange Tip, and friend

Wednesday 24th May 2023, 1.10pm (day 4,290)

Orange tip and friend, 24/3/23

A walk to the Lakes today, and there were some nice landscape shots I could have chosen, partly because I was thinking I had done the ‘nature close-up’ theme yesterday, and partly because the Lake District is usually quite nice to look at. But those who want to see more of what it looked like around Loweswater yesterday can check out my walking blog (well, one of them anyway). In the end I chose this because the light came out just right and it was not until I looked at it a third time, at least, that I noticed the companion insect hovering just above the Orange Tip. Are butterflies insectivorous? Perhaps it should be worried.

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Violet above the valley

Tuesday 23rd May 2023, 3.50pm (day 4,289)

Violet and the valley, 23/5/23

I know this isn’t the flower known as violet (genus Viola), but it’s certainly the colour. I bet these look pretty good in black-light. Taken on the one twenty-minute occasion on which I got out of the house today — the sun was shining, the Late May Fine Period is properly here, but I had work to do.

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Duck-pigeon War: new developments (with optional postscript)

Wednesday 17th May 2023, 2.55pm (day 4,283)

Duck-pigeon war developments, 17/5/23

“Ssshhh. They’re asleep, I think. We can sneak in….”

“I feel scared. The water….”

POSTSCRIPT (feel free to ignore): You should have had a picture from London today. Specifically, I was going to go inside the Houses of Parliament for the first time in my life. However, thanks to an exquisitely timed cancelled train today — eradicated 10 minutes too late for me to get an earlier one — I couldn’t make it to King’s Cross in time for the event. So there was no point going. So Northern fuck up my day, and I get to just suck it up.

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Sunday 14th May 2023, 3.30pm (day 4,280)

Bluebells, 14/5/23

The annual outcrop of bluebells is another one of those recurring themes, and now is the time for it to recur. There seem to be a lot this year. I don’t think this picture captures the extent of the carpet, but I like the focus on it. One flower in particular is definitely the point of attention.

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Bronze bug (first of many)

Saturday 13th May 2023, 1.20pm (day 4,279)

Bronze bug, 13/5/23

Sitting at a table on the forecourt of the Bay Horse pub in Oxenhope, I noticed this metallic-looking bug on the pipe next to me, took this picture, thought no more about it. Another one appeared in Clare’s glass, while fishing it out we discussed what species it was, had no idea. The decision was made that its colouring should be described as ‘bronze’. Then after moving on to watch the football, another appeared. Then another. Not swarms, but a constant stream. I still have no idea what type of insect this is, but there has certainly been a mass hatching of them in the Oxenhope area.

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This year’s offspring

Friday 12th May 2023, 4.05pm (day 4,278)

Gosling at marina, 12/5/23

The annual outcrop of Canada goslings is usually good for a pic, and so it proves again in 2023. This was one of a family of four — six if you count the watchful parents — who at the moment seem to have set up home on the canalside marina.

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Sparrow at Annandale Water

Tuesday 9th May 2023, 9.30am (day 4,275)

Sparrow, Annandale Water, 9/5/23

This little creature is clearly used to humans, as it flew over and perched as close to me as any ‘wild’ bird has in recent times, demanding that I do its close-ups. The light wasn’t quite right — it would be nicer if its eye wasn’t in shadow — but I did my best to oblige.

Saying this is taken at Annandale Water is correct, but don’t imagine some picturesque Scottish glen. The Water does exist but is a mere puddle, and in fact the placename refers to the services on the M74. My morning was spent driving home, with this being taken during the only break in the 6-hour trek.

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The overseer

Sunday 19th February 2023, 11.50am (day 4,196)

Robin overseer, 19/2/23

I have developed some druidic powers. I can, fairly reliably, summon a robin. It’s quite easy actually — simply go up to the garden, dig over part of it, and wait five minutes. One will usually appear to check over the bounty that has been revealed. This one was quite unperturbed by the presence of both myself and Clare, and has a look on his face that suggests he thinks we should be doing more digging — I reckon robins are evolving to use humans as manual labour, in fact. Perhaps they will be our overlords in a few dozen millennia,

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Saturday 28th January 2023, 12.55pm (day 4,174)

Waxbills, 28/1/23

I’m fairly certain these are juvenile common waxbills (Estrilda astrild), a member of the finch family. They don’t yet have the bright red bill that gives the species its name (as it looks like it has been dipped in sealing wax) but everything else about them matches the description, particularly the red stripe through the eye. The one on the lower branch flew off the instant I pressed the shutter, and is fluffing himself up ready to make the jump. Taken on my walk to the summit of the island, Diana’s Peak — more photos from the day can be seen on my other blog.

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Sheep at the trough

Friday 6th January 2023, 3.15pm (day 4,152)

Feeding sheep, 6/1/23

There is just such a look of contentment on the face of this sheep, as it has a rest from its communal troughing. I guess with all those fleeces on each side it must be pretty warm and stuffy down there; no wonder they were all taking breathers now and again.

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