Archive for August 2009


Posted by on August 28th 2009 in In the garden
Tags: ,

A couple of weeks ago our large Salix babylonica decided to dump an eight-foot long by one-foot dia chunk of rotten wood on the lawn. For safety's sake we had to put the garden out-of-bounds for a while until the experts had had a look at the thing. They recommended pollarding to reduce the weight, remove any deadwood and reduce the "sail".

Yesterday their crew turned up to do the deed...

That's a serious bit of trimming, eh?


Posted by on August 27th 2009 in Pics, Site update

There's now an option to add pics to your comments, you'll find the relevant bit just above the comment-input box.

I trust that you won't abuse the facility.


Posted by on August 26th 2009 in Photo hosting

Looks like I jumped ship just in time:

If you were to follow the link to the forums, you'd find yourself here.

Don't be fooled by the timestamps in the forum posts - they haven't changed all day!

You can see the correct timestamps in the RSS Feed.

We apologise for the loss of signal…

Posted by on August 24th 2009 in In the garden

Life's been a bit full of other stuff for a while now, so the blogging has had to take a back-seat for a few weeks. I'll try to catch up over the next few days, starting now...

This year has been a good one for the number of butterflies in our garden, but not so good for the range of species. So far, the list of species found is as follows:

  • Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris
  • Large White Pieris brassicae
  • Small White Pieris rapae
  • Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
  • Painted Lady Cynthia cardui
  • Small Tortoiseshell Aglaise urticae
  • Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
  • Peacock Inachis io
  • Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria
  • Wall Lasiommata megera
  • Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus
  • Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
  • Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus

That's not a bad list for an urban garden in the Midlands, but there are a few notable absences - here's a list of species that we usually see here but which haven't put in an appearance so far this year:

  • Large Skipper Ochlodes venata
  • Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
  • Green-veined White Pieris napi
  • Orange Tip Anthocharis cardamines
  • Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
  • Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

A few hours with the camera resulted in the following pics of some of the more obliging specimens:

EDIT: Just to let you know that Old Winter has blogged about his butterflies today at

Wildlife repair service

Posted by on August 17th 2009 in In the garden

I was well into our garden butterfly survey (more on this in a later post) when I was interrupted again by another live contribution from next-door. Not content with his donation of a perfectly good young hedgehog ("it was curled up in a ball and I thought it was dead, so I brought it to you to see if you could look after it"), he's now given me this poor critter:



It seems to be intact with no broken bones as far as we can tell, but it's weak, flightless and has no parents around. We'll do what we can for it, but I suspect that we'll have to let nature take charge soon.


Posted by on August 14th 2009 in Camera kit, In the garden, Shiny new kit

Just a quick snapshot with the new lens:


Perseid party-pooper

Posted by on August 13th 2009 in Astrostuff

According to the weather forecast on Monday, the night skies were to be fairly cloudy on Tuesday and mainly clear on Wednesday. Sadly, it didn't turn out that way. On Tuesday night there were plenty of clear spells during which I managed to sneak out for a quick look around, and there were plenty of Perseid meteors about. I wasn't set up for taking pics, as my camera was off-line due to a sensor-cleaning session. I figured that I could wait another day.

Last night's planned observing session turned out to be a waste of time, as we had fairly comprehensive cloud-coverage here all night. True, there were a few gaps through which the odd trail could be seen, and the clag was thin enough to see when a passing meteor was lighting up the tops of the clouds, but there was no point in setting up the camera.

According to the current forecast there's not much chance that I'll catch the tail-end of the show tonight.

Next year, maybe?

Deep and meaningful stuff

Posted by on August 3rd 2009 in Just for fun

How many five year olds could you take in a fight? 17

What would you taste like to a cannibal? Broiled tofu

Would you eat your buddies in a blizzard? 59%

What are your chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse? 52%

Would you make a good human shield? 55%


Edited to add my results. Looks like I'm just an average bloke  :mrgreen:


Posted by on August 3rd 2009 in Great Escapes, Photo hosting
Tags: ,

We're back from a week of rain-dodging in Dorset. Aside from the usual few days of washing/drying kit and sorting hundreds of pics, there's a more pressing task - the final stage of the photo-hosting move from Zoto to SmugMug. This entails the thankless task of going through every blog post, page and comment here to find and edit all of the links to my pics and albums. There's a fair chance that the blog will have to be taken offline, and an even larger chance that I'll not get it finished by the August 8th deadline.

Of course, this all means that you get a week of respite before I start to bore you with my holiday snaps, so make merry while you can :mrgreen:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...