Sunday, 29 August 2010

The Eyes Have It!

It is so nice to be back in blogland after my recent eye surgery and despite some complications I am happy to say things are now pretty well as they should be and I just have (I hope) one more hospital appointment in a couple of weeks time and then that should be the end of it. Thank you so much for all your good wishes, it is much appreciated.

I don't know what has happened to Summer lately but it seems to have disappeared here and we have had rain and cool temperatures for some days now. However, I have managed to get out with the camera a couple of times and on a sunny Sunday recently we visited the local herb centre where I knew I would be guaranteed to see some colourful butterflies.

Peacock Butterfly

Brimstone Butterfly

Meadow Brown Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

' "Ho!" said a butterfly, "here am I,
Up in the air, who used to lie
Flat on the ground for the passers by
To treat with utter neglect!
None will suspect that I am the same
With a bright, new coat and a different name;
The piece of nothingness whence I came,
In me they'll never detect." '

(Miss H.F. Gould)

Gatekeeper Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Small Copper Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly

'Child of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight,
Mingling with her thou lov'st in fields of light;

And, where the flowers of Paradise unfold,

Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.'

(Samuel Rogers)

The following
photos were taken at one of my favourite places, yes, you've guessed it, Draycote :) The first three photos show a Canada Goose being very aggressive towards a Coot which had done nothing to antagonise it other than just being there!

I was close enough to see that the goose was not just threatening the Coot but actually pecking the poor thing!

It wasn't long before the Coot made a swift exit watched by a very self satisfied Canada Goose.

The next two photos were taken before I had my surgery and show Mallard mums showing off their little ones. I'm not sure what had caught their attention in the first photo but most of them seemed to be looking at something to their left.

Mallard Mum and Ducklings

This young Crow seemed happy to pose for a photo.


'The crow—the crow! the great black crow!
He loves the fat meadow—his taste is low;
He loves the fat worms, and he dines in a row
With fifty fine cousins all black as a sloe.'
(P.J. Bailey)

I know they are quite common birds but I rather like Moorhens with their colourful red bills.


This Grey Wagtail was posing nicely.

Grey Wagtail

There always seem to be good numbers of wagtails at Draycote, predominantly pied but also frequently grey and yellow. I am rather confused about the following one as there doesn't seem to be much yellow on it that I can see but I assume it is a young Grey Wagtail. I stand to be corrected.

Edit: Thanks very much to Keith, Greenie and Warren for identifying the bird below as a young

Pied Wagtail

'I go to nature to be soothed and healed,

and to have my senses put in order.'
(John Burroughs)

Something else which can be seen in large numbers there are Rabbits. I was interested to learn that without Rabbits much of our downland and cliff tops would be overgrown with brambles, gorse and hawthorn. They suppress the growth of shrubs by nibbling the growing shoots and the resulting turf encourages the growth of insects, attracting low growing plants such as trefoils and vetches beloved by butterflies. The very short grass itself attracts insects such as ants which in turn attract many species of birds.


Finally I will end as I started with this Frog which was just outside my back door and which stayed put while I hurriedly fetched my camera. I know some people aren't keen on them but I think they are beautiful.

Common Frog

Well that is all for now. I will be trying to catch up with all of your great blogs over the next few days. Enjoy the beauty of Nature, wherever you are.