Saturday, 22 December 2012

Prize pictures!

Those nice people at Belvoir fruit farms have sent me a case of cordials. One of the photos I took for this blog won a prize in their "Hedgerow" photography competition. It was supported by Butterfly Conservation so I sent in one of my best butterfly shots of a red admiral with a small copper.

It's the first competition I've ever entered so I was a bit shocked to get a prize. I was one of five runners up to the winner. You can see all six prizewinning pictures on their facebook page.

I know a good recipe for turning elderflower cordial into elderflower champagne. So I won't be needing to go out picking elderflowers next spring!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wood pecking

I watched a great spotted woodpecker making a hole in a rather old birch tree today. He came back several times to continue his activity. Is he starting a nest hole or looking for insects?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fungus foray

We decided to look in the woods for fungi today. The surprise was that we found lots in our garden and the lane before we got to the woods.

First the garden:-

Next, the lane:-
And finally, the woods:-

The picture in the centre of the last row ls interesting. Fungus growing on fungus!

I think it will be difficult for me to identify all these fungi.

By clicking on a picture you should be able to see an enlarged view.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bees revisited

Petra and I took a walk around our old Steyning patch today and revisited the wild bees' nest that I have pictured before. (See Honey bees (1)  (2)  (3)  (4) ) It's good to see they have survived another year and look set up with a good winter store again. The bees rewarded my interest with another sting on the head!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My new patch

 It is quite different from my old Steyning walks. I spend a lot of time in coniferous and mixed woodland, with patches of open heath, I don't see much agricultural land here. I am expecting to see quite a few interesting fungi amongst all the fallen and rotting logs. These are a few pictures to give a general idea.

Monday, 8 October 2012

October butterflies

Ivy is in flower and proving a big attraction to the late butterflies. There were about 30 on this bush. Several commas were feeding on the nectar. 


The most numerous butterfly was the red admiral, about 20 of them were feeding and I found one small copper among them.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Fungi at Warren Hill

There are earthballs (Probably the common earthball scleroderma citrinum) everywhere! Is it always like this or is it an unusual year?

There is also a good crop of another fungus on a dead tree trunk. (right)

This looks like ischnoderma resinosum, a fairly uncommon species.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Welcome to the new blog!

We have moved away from Steyning and now live near Washington Common, north of the A283 Storrington Road. So Petra's walks will be based in a new area. I hope we find just as many interesting things to comment on.

The first things have come up in my new garden! This common darter was a regular visitor over the second week of September.

Where do I Walk?

Mainly around the National Trust land at Washington Common and Warren Hill in West Sussex. I also spend some time around my old Steyning walks and other interesting places in West Sussex.