"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

Monday, 31 December 2012

Highlights of the Year - Part 8

I think next year I will think of a more concise way to write about "highlights"! Anyway the final post in this series.

A few images from my visits to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens in October and November. For some reason I never found time to visit in December.

The Gardens grow a huge variety of apples and pears and displays remained from Apple Day.

Clouded Funnel by the Stumpery

Upper Wilderness


David was on holiday for a week in November and we had a day out at the Rollright Stones - Pre-historic Megalithic monuments on the Oxfordshire/Warwickshire border.

The King's Men Stone Circle with an uncountable number of stones built between 2500 and 2000 BC

Lichens growing on the stones are believed to be between 400 and 800 years old.

The Whispering Knights - remains of a Portal Dolmen burial chamber about 5000 years old.

The King's Stone - a large single Standing Stone built in the Middle Bronze Age 1800 - 1500 BC

I found it a very atmospheric place and if you want to read more about the history and myths and legends connected to the stones just click on Rollright Stones under labels to the right of the blog.

For our Wedding Anniversary in October we made a trip to see Red Kites at Watlington where you can get superb close views of these lovely birds. Sadly, not close enough for the 70-300mm lens! but a few record shots heavily cropped.

A surprise visitor to the pond in October - a Grey Wagtail. Only the third time this species has visited the garden. Another record shot - too far away again!

A few shots of leaves, cobwebs and flowers in the garden in Autumn.

Finally, I made a couple of visits to Baddesley Clinton to walk around the grounds and see the House decorated for Christmas.

Finally, I can't not mention badgers - the proposed trial cull being a real low of my wildlife year. Everyone who visits this blog regularly is no doubt aware of my feelings concerning the proposed badger cull so I won't say too much this time but I was totally devastated when the Government announced plans to go ahead with the proposed pilot culls. Science has proved through the RBCT that culling badgers will not work and the proposed cull is totally unselective meaning around 85% of badgers slaughtered will be healthy and disease free. Furthermore, the suggested method of free shooting has never been tried before. It was a huge relief when the proposed trials were called off but sadly this is just a postponement until next year not a permanent end. I did discover the usefulness of Twitter at this time to make my feelings known to DEFRA and Natural England.

I just hope that this ill-conceived, unscientific, inhumane, uneconomic scheme will be called off next year. The main cause of bTB is cattle to cattle transmission. The way forward would seem to be vaccination of badgers, pushing the EU to allow cattle vaccination, more research into the DIVA test, increased biosecurity, increased bTB testing in cattle and improvements in cattle husbandry.

I was already a member of the Badger Trust but decided to join my local Badger Group and I really enjoyed attending one of their meetings in November to see a really interesting presentation on badger vaccination. I am really looking forward to attending their meetings again next year.

Best wishes to all my readers for a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2013.


Dartford Warbler said...

Happy 2013 to you Ragged Robin, and thank you for another lovely post of your Highlights this year.

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Many thanks :) Best wishes for 2013.

Em Parkinson said...

The red kite is fabulous. Very glad to hear your badger opinions by the way!

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Many thanks - they are such stunning birds! Oh yes, badgers. I can't think of an issue that has made me angrier! So sad the fight to save them will have to continue next year.

Nicola said...

I like the style of your photos that convey positive emotions.
I'm a bit late,but I wish you a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR the same! :)
See you soon.
Ciao and have a nice day!
Ciao is the most popular Italian greeting that means: hi, hello, bye.
Ciao sounds like "chao".

Ragged Robin said...

Nicola - Hi and welcome to my blog. Thank you so much for leaving such a lovely comment :)
Happy and Prosperous New Year to you too :)
Thank you for explaining the meaning of Ciao :)
Hope you have had a lovely day too :)
Best wishes