"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Owls, Monkeys, Lavender, Viewpoints, Cliffs and a Badger

It was hot today.

Where to go? I tentatively suggested Newton NNR - a great place for butterflies and birds only to be outvoted 3 - 1 (I think I have explained this was a family holiday!).

We ended up going to the Owl and Monkey Haven which has just opened. Now I don't like to see animals and birds in cages but this is a sanctuary for monkeys and owls who find themselves without a home either because they are injured, or cannot be returned to the wild or have been captive bred and turned out to be unsuitable for a breeding programme. Some of the barn owls are recovering from injury and will hopefully be returned to the wild. The haven was very laid out with animals' welfare paramount.

Unfortunately, the wires on the cages played havoc with my camera's autofocusing so, apart from the first photo, the rest are courtesy of son David again.

A passionflower

Isle of Wight Lavender was just a 100 yards away and as we had never been there we paid a brief visit and I bought a couple of plants for our garden at home. Again the photos are Davids as I left my camera in the car. By the way the lavender icecream is delicious.

We drove to a nearby viewpoint for a picnic lunch

And then on to Culver Down where there are lovely views of Sandown Bay

I then had a stroke of luck. David mentioned he would like to walk along the beach below to get close views of Culver Cliff. I was beside myself with glee as this is a walk that is really interesting geologically and one that I have wanted to do for years but had I mentioned the geology aspect I would have been outvoted again!!!!

As we started the walk I tried to explain the different rock formations to David and for some reason?!! he scuttled off ahead at such great pace that by the time I had reached the Red Cliff he was already on his way back from the chalk Culver Cliff and I had to cut my walk short as we were running out of time to meet daughter and husband.

I won't bore you with the geology but I have been a bit self indulgent with the amount of photos!

At the start of the walk from Yaverland to Culver Cliff the cliffs are composed of mudstones.

Here we have reached the Red Cliff composed of ferruginous sandstone with the chalk of Culver Cliff beyond.

Some nice sedimentary layers in the rocks here.

Mudstones, Red Cliff and Culver Cliff

Red Cliff and Culver Cliff

Looking up to Red Cliff

The people in this shot (son on the right marching back towards me) give an idea of the scale of the cliff.

The Chalk Culver Cliff

We went for a meal tonight at the Wight Mouse Inn only a few hundred yards from where we were staying. I had a really scrumptious Lemon syllabub for dessert - they have a clever idea at this pub of serving mini puds so if you are full up after starter and main course you can still find room for a small dessert.

When we got back to the cottage my daughter was watching rabbits in the field adjacent to the garden and waiting for a fox which she had seen each evening to appear from a small copse when she spotted a badger leaving the spinney and walking down the hedgerow. To be fair she did shout for us all straightaway but only my son got there in time to see the badger as it disappeared through the hedge.

I shall be keeping a vigil tomorrow evening in the hope that the badger returns.

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