Tag Archives: nature

Nature Wallpaper: Remnant of Summer

The drought of 2022 in the UK effected the natural world in several ways – all of them negatively. But when a cold snap followed it’s watery ending, and subsequent seasonal temperatures soared shortly afterwards, the natural world was thrown out of kilter. For some plants, it appeared that summer had returned. For others the period called winter was skipped, and they went straight to Spring again. All very colourful for those who took the time to look. Who knows what will become of the Primroses etc when winter finally arrives – not to mention dumb-ass hedgehogs. It probably won’t go well for them. Here ‘s a shot of high-summer Clover in Autumn, which was lovely to see amongst all the dry brown hedgerow foliage and fresh green shoots emerging from the desiccated grasses at the field’s edge…

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Has ‘Helping the Hedgehog’ Helped?

Well if the following picture is to be believed, someone has clearly moved into the Hedgehog Over-Wintering House at the bottom of my garden. Look, they’ve planted a nice flower outside the porch…

But since no one responded to a polite knock, I thought it best to spy on them – by installing a night-vision camera, I’m sorry to say, t’was not a spiky critter that emerged into the darkness; but one of these…

Oh, well, at least the property isn’t laying vacant. Some smart little rodent has spotted the potential. There, I told you hedgehogs were dumb-asses!

 

Nature Wallpaper: Weeks Into the Drought

The fields near where I live suffered during the Summer of 2022. They also made a pleasant, if slightly abnormal wallpaper…

Here’s how it might appear on your computer…

And just to show you the lengths I’m willing to go to in order to serve up these wonders of nature – regard what a loop of vicious bramble did to me as I went about my country business, snapping nice pictures to share with all…

My ankle was like that all the way around. I hate bastard brambles!

Nature Wallpaper: Sharing

Before I share my ‘Sharing’ wallpaper with you, please allow me to share the following image with you…

I suffer for my art, you know. Despite the fields and paths of rural England appearing benificent, don’t be fooled. For all the waving grasses and spirited swathes of clover, there are always brambles laying in wait amongst them for unwary picture-snappers like me. Bastards.

So, anyway, on to the subject of this post. I put this picture up on my Flickr page. In the first 36 hours it received about a hundred hits and a couple of ‘faves’.  Then, whilst I slept blissfuly, trying to ignore my itching shins, the picture went ape-shit. By the time I posted this version of the picture here, the original had already gained over 3700 hits and a hundred ‘faves’. Someone likes it. I hope you do. It is quite nice…

 

Wallpaper 639: The Breakfast Sentinel

Every morning, before breakfast, I shuffle to my garden shed to feed the wild birds in my garden. The first to arrive is Jacques, the Robin, who flutters in front of me like an inebriated humming bird, demanding access to perch upon my hand and pick through the tit-bits I have for him. Then, as I emerge fully, and begin to place the food upon the various feeders in my quince tree, the resident crow  starts calling to the other birds  from my roof – announcing that breakfast is served… 

Why it has taken on this role, I have no idea: but the pigeons and jackdaws seem particularly pleased that it has.

 

Tooty Gets His Nuts Out

There are two Robins that vie for supremacy in my garden. A rather neat and spic and span fellow (Loser) and a somewhat bedraggled example (Winner). Every morning, when I go out into the garden to refill the bird feeder (my late wife did it religiously, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint her), Winner arrives immediately; gets in my way; and generally demands breakfast, which I’m always glad to supply. But he does have to work for it. Here he is, waiting on the bird table…

Having set up the camera to capture the moment, today I went into the shed to fetch some nuts for him. Winner – the  undoubted ‘top dog’ Robin in the local area – became impatient, and immediately hopped aboard the handy perch…

…and proceeded to watch my every move. Flitting over to the fence…

…he awaited my outstretched hand, which he knew was full of nuts. And, as usual, he flitted back; checked me out…

…hovered for a moment; snatched a nut; then scooted for the sanctuary of the tree…

This is his modus operandi. He touches down for a nanosecond, then puts as much distance between himself and I as he can – usually disappearing into an adjoining garden to devour his catch. He’ll do it as many times as I’m prepared to stand there, like a lemon, with an aching arm stretched out in front of me…

But I know that when he’s off over the fence, Loser grabs his opportunity with both feet. There he is, look – watching over my shoulder…

This is when he slips in unnoticed. More often than not he may get chased off by Winner, but when I feel his little talons grip my fingernails…

…for me he’s the real winner. After all he gets the time to select the best nut in my hand. And if he’s feeling choosey, he might even take a meal worm. Yum!

Nature Wallpapers: Listen and Survive / Going Hungry

Whilst out and about in the Hampshire countryside, I chanced upon a common, everyday encounter between two disparate (but linked) species. It ended well for one of them, and gave me a couple of nice wallpaper shots….

I know I shouldn’t have, but I could help myself from giving the rabbit an edge.  I gave the fox a cheery wave.

Nature Wallpaper: Why We Should Record the Images of the Natural World Around Us

In February of 2015 I took this photo of a rookery in my street…

For the next seven years I watched (unconsciously. I might add) as the trees grew taller and wider, and the rookery expanded – to become the birthplace and nightly roost of hundreds of huge black birds. Then, a few days ago, several light trucks and a huge crane rumbled into town. Hours later the mighty rookery was reduced to this…

and this…

We’re very good at destroying natural habitat. We keep saying “Oh, this must stop.” But in the past couple of years I’ve seen so many mature trees felled – and not all of them diseased Ash – that I wonder if there isn’t some sort of conspiracy at large. For every tree planted by well-meaning people, how many established habitats are pulled down by those who couldn’t care less about the future of this planet or who just want to make a fast buck? Way too many, I fear. After all, with so much arable land in the UK being turned over to house building at an alarming rate, more land for growing crops or keeping animals has to be found somewhere, doesn’t it? There’s no profit for anyone in ancient woodland. And who gives a shit about Badgers and Willow Warblers anyway! So I think it’s best that we record what we have, while we still have it. It won’t last. Then we can hold these pictures up and say “That’s what we rid ourselves of: how has that made this a better world?”