A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"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
Friday, 28 December 2012
2012 Highlights - Part 4
I am quite amazed at how much I did go out during the first six months of the year. No wonder I had no time for birding I was too busy wandering around country churchyards and swanning round NT properties!
Although so much of Solihull has been developed since Edith Holden's time, it still contains many parks and fragments of ancient woodland. I visited Coldlands Wood very close to the town centre at bluebell time.
Yellow Archangel and Bluebell
I returned to Bushwood as on my previous visit I had noticed what looked like masses of wild garlic plants and this time they were in flower.
Canal at Lowsonford
I discovered another country churchyard at Baddesley Clinton full of wild flowers
St Michael's Church
Buttercups, Bluebells and Germander Speedwell or "Bird's Eye" as my grandfather used to call it.
Cute lambs came to say "hallo"
St Michael's - I would have liked to see inside the church but couldn't find a way in! Have since discovered how to gain entry so I will return.
Lady's Smock or Cuckoo Flower - used by Orange Tip butterflies for egg laying
Crosswort - emanating overpowering smell of honey
It may have been a poor year for moths and butterflies but wildflowers seemed to do really well this year.
I had another day out with my friend and this time we visited Calke Abbey - have never been there before and I shall have to go back. There is a very impressive drive up to the house through parkland and an avenue of lime trees. Sadly no photo but believe me it was beautiful. The 600 acres of parkland are a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest and the 10th best site in Britain for invertebrates.
Green Dock Beetle - thanks again Jan for the id help :)
The house looks as though it has come straight out of a Jane Austen novel but the National Trust has deliberately not restored or renovated the house, apart from essential repairs. It symbolises a country house left unchanged since its decline at the end of the nineteenth century when nothing was thrown away. During the twentieth century many great country houses and estates failed to survive.
It was raining most of the time we were there so we had a tour of the house and skulked in the restaurant and shop! There is so much we did not see - church, garden, deer enclosure and I would love to walk round the parkland and look for beetles and ancient trees.
There are some events in the year I try not to miss such as daffodils at Packwood and dahlias at Baddesley Clinton and the opening of Monkspath Meadow for one weekend a year is one such unmissable occasion. The meadow which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is around 800 years old and contains around 150 species of grass and flower species. One of the highlights is the mass of Heath Spotted Orchids.
Thistle and Bumble Bee
Heath Spotted Orchids
Another Tree Bumble Bee!
Finally, I returned to St Giles churchyard at Packwood - it was raining which made for some nice photos.
Fox and Cubs. I only identified this flower this year and once I had done so, it was like the Tree Bumble Bee, I started seeing it everywhere.
Wild and Cultivated Roses
Sorry for so many posts in one day. I don't think I went out quite so much in the second part of the year! But I shall try and finish off the Highlights over the weekend.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.