"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, 29 April 2013

Garden Wildlife and Afternoon Tea

There were no moths in the trap after last Friday's moth trapping session - minimum temperatuare 1.3 degrees centigrade and soggy, wet egg-boxes suggest quite a lot of rain overnight.

I have, however, managed to add 2 new species to the garden list for 2013 - Early Grey found in the garage and Brindled Beauty trapped on 20th May together with a couple of Clouded Drabs

Early Grey

Brindled Beauty

The first Blue Tit egg was laid in the nest box on Saturday morning and another added yesterday. I can't see if we are now up to three because she has completely covered them with moss and feathers.

The frog tadpoles started emerging last Tuesday, 23rd April and two butterflies spotted flying through the garden were the first garden sightings for this year - Male butter-coloured Brimstone on 23rd and Peacock on 20th. Common newt numbers are increasing in the pond since the first sighting this year on 20th April.

Afternoon Tea

Last Tuesday afternoon Emily and I went for a treat at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel - Champagne Afternoon Tea. Emily had given me a voucher for my birthday but I wanted to wait until the weather had improved and it was lovely and sunny last Tuesday.

Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel

Champagne tea is served!!

We went a walk round the Best Gardens attached to the Hotel after tea. There were several peacock butterflies fluttering around though none within reach of camera lens!

Best Garden looking towards St Mary and St Margaret's Church

Best Garden looking towards rear of Hotel

Emily and I were surmising on the rather lovely views you would get from this tower of Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens.

The Hotel has been beautifully renovated and restored and I do hope they make a success of it.


Chris Rohrer said...

Oh my gosh!! Tea time never looked so good:) I find this a fascinating thing culturally. I would whole heartedly embrace this idea in my own life given the time. It's a shared thing and not many Americans get into this activity. Someday I'd like to take part for just a little while and enjoy these traditions. My question after reading this post was, "Will you all have as much rain as you did last year?" Hopefully not. But I'm also hoping your moths show up more. It seemed like you had a lot of them coming in but lately not so much. Beautiful pics:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Many thanks Chris :) It does seem a bit of a British tradition - although I have to say we don't bother at home!!! If ever you come to England book yourself an Afternoon Tea at a hotel or have a cream tea in the West Country - you will love the experience :)

Definitely hoping for less rain this summer!!! Moths'll pick up when it gets a bit warmer (I hope!).

Em Parkinson said...

Posh tea! Lovely to see your moths and hear about the eggs. I'm not sure if our Nuthatches have laid yet but once they hatch, the noise from the box is VERY loud.

Wendy said...

Lovely photos of the moths. The Blue Tits we can see with our nest box camera here have also started to lay eggs, too. And the afternoon tea looks delicious.

David Turner said...

Lovely images and that champagne afternoon tea looks jolly civilised :-) I'm super envious of your Brindled Beauty :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Many Thanks. Look forward to reading more of your nuthatches :)

Wendy - Many thanks. I can't see if she's laid any more - she's covering them that well with feathers and moss.

David Turner - Many thanks. Its only the second Brindled Beauty I've trapped so well pleased :) Still haven't got many species for the year though.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) A Champagne tea!...how delightfully decadent ;-) and what a lovely birthday present. I'm so glad you managed to pick a good weather day and were able to go for a walk afterwards. It is good to know the place has been carefully restored. I'm sure you will continue to have many happy visits there.

I'm tempted to say your moths seem to be coming through in dribs and...drabs!!!...sorry, I couldn't resist ;-) Good news on your other garden creatures also, I do hope the Blue Tits progress well.

We finished watching the Edith DVD last week. iIt was so good. Beautifully produced and directed and the acting was superb. I thought Pippa Guard as Edith was perfect! The last episode was very sad but beautifully done and I know it is a series I will return to time and again.

Still not been able to get out with the camera after a particularly nasty chest infection and barely enough breath to move around the house but am at last feeling a nice bit better today, just dreading the approaching high pollen counts now :-(

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - Hi Jan :) I have been thinking of you a lot and wondering how you were. So sorry you have been so poorly - it sounds a particularly horrible infection and I remember you have additional problems. I really do hope you are over the worst and continue to feel a bit better each day.

Thank you for your lovely comments :)

Had to laugh at your dribs and drabs comment :) Mrs BT is roosting on the nest already tonight. I suspect when she starts incubating in the day time too I might be able to count how many eggs there are when she goes off to feed!

I am so glad you enjoyed the Edith dvd - and I hope you continue to get lots of pleasure when you watch it in future. I still haven't got round to ordering it but will let you know when I do :)

I'm just hoping the pollen count remains low to let you get fully over your infection before you have to contend with that as well. Hope you feel well enough soon to get out and enjoy some wildlife.

Take care Jan.

Pete said...


it is over 10 years since I went to York. your blog reminds me I really must go again!



Ragged Robin said...

Pete - Hope you go soon - horribly busy though - too many people!!! Look forward to seeing your photos :)

Chris Rohrer said...

Thanks for the tip!!! I know my birding buddy Kathie would love this tradition PLUS she loves talking soooooo this is just perfect. We'd add all the birds and this would be one of her favorite trips:) I've been trying to convince her about the bigger picture. I think this would be a lovely and civilized trip right up her alley. And for me, it would be about history, the gardens and birds! I hope we get to meet some time in the future. Chris

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks Chris :) There is so much history, wildlife, houses and beautiful gardens and afternoon tea (a MUST) that I hope one day you visit Britain.

Yes, I would love to meet you if you came over here - think we would have a lot to talk about :)