"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

Highlights of the Year Part 2

A few more highlights! I tried to do this post last night but Blogger was very slow uploading photos and I had problems with saving and then, when I came to add the text, I found half the photos had gone awol! Constantly, I shall split what was one long post into several in case I have further problems. Beginning to think Highlights of the Year is a bit overly ambitious!

Garden April to June


Saw my first pristine Speckled Wood in the garden on 1st April which was followed by first Holly Blue on 12th May.

We were visited by a very tame Robin.

We've managed to "tame" two Robins to feed from the hand in the past and I think it would be easy to do the same with this individual.

After going in and out of the nest box for months, the Blue Tits finally started to build a nest on 7th April. We have a camera in the nest box and the following are a few photos I took from the tv screen onto which the action is relayed.

Six eggs were laid starting on 25th April but only two hatched in mid May

Almost ready for fledging - considering the poor weather we were pleased that the two did fledge successfully.

In an attempt to bring back poppies to the wildflower meadow Brian cleared about a third of it and reseeded.

Red Campion in mini meadow.

Its been a poor year for the number of moth species caught in the moth trap and it was a very slow start. A few photos of some of the species I trapped April to June

Shuttle-shaped Dart

Angle Shades

Early Grey

Silver Y

Scalloped Hazel

Bee Moth

Knot Grass

Waved Umber - this was found inside the house

Two of my all time favourite books are the "Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" and "Nature Notes" based on the Nature Journals written and illustrated by Edith Holden in the early 1900's. During this time she lived near Solihull and over the course of the year I tried to visit some of the places she had written about to see if I could find some of the species she had seen. I had varying degrees of success and, what became very apparent was how different Solihull was today compared with the beginning of last century. Edith would have been surrounded by fields and farms even when she lived in Olton but this area is now totally covered by houses, shops, etc. However, much of the countryside around Dorridge, Knowle and Darley Green still remains.

At the beginning of April I visited the area around Bushwood where she had cycled on 31st March. She wrote of "celandines making the ditches bright" and I found plenty of these pretty little yellow flowers.

Fields near Bushwood - I think the electric cables and pylons would have been missing in her day!


At the beginning of April she walked to Olton Mill Pool where she saw 2 Sand Martins and 2 Willow Warblers and found several Blackbird Nests. I didn't see any of the first two species when I visited but here's some photos of the Mill Pool

I also found a bank of Cowslips near Catherine de Barnes. She often painted Cowslips and mentions several times walking to Catherine de Barnes.

At the end of June Edith writes of walking around lanes by Catherine de Barnes, Hampton-in-Arden, Bickenhill and Elmdon Park. Its impossible to know which route she took and I suspect she walked across fields when she could but I attempted to trace some of her footsteps.

Catherine de Barnes - I tried to photograph only buildings that would have been here when she visited.

Church Hall

The Clock Inn - a shame about the cars!


Field full of Buttercups

Foxgloves along lane


Hedge Woundwort



Fields and Dog Roses en route from Hampton to Bickenhill


I hope to carry on with this series of posts next year as there are still several places she visited that I haven't found of had the time to visit.


Em Parkinson said...

All stunning but I particularly love the moths. They're beautiful. They need to be extra large!

Ragged Robin said...

Em - Many thanks :) Glad you enjoyed the moths. Plenty more to come from 2012 and I will be posting regularly from next Spring onwards on them :)