"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

Thursday, 30 September 2010

September Visit to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

I had a few hours of free time this afternoon so had to decide whether to return to Shustoke Reservoir where 8 Little Gulls had been seen yesterday or to pay a visit to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. Bearing in mind that the Little Gulls could well have moved on and my failure to see one there recently and the fact that I haven't been to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens this month, I decided to go to the Gardens.

I didn't see a lot of wildlife just a lot of magpies and a mixed blue and long-tailed tit flock. There was a grey squirrel running around the trees and several bees in the vegetable garden feeding on nasturtium and calendula flowers. I was hoping to see some red admirals but the only butterfly I saw was a brief sighting of a possible small copper hiding amongst some leaves high up on a wall.

Apologies for the amount of photos - I have got rather carried away again. I have done quite a few blog postings on these gardens so I have tried to include "new" photos although I am afraid several are similar to those posted before!

Courtyard by the entrance

Melon Ground

Armilliary Sphere at the centre of the Holly Maze

There are a lot of holly trees around the gardens - quite a few had a healthy berry crop

There are still a lot of flowers blooming

I love this flower (Love Lies Bleeding) and I think I will try and buy some for our garden next year.

A lovely carpet of cyclamen under the trees

Patches of autumn leaf tints are appearing in some of the trees

There were lots of apples and pears on the trees and many different types of berry

Cockspur Thorn


Rose Hips

There were so many different seedheads and I took quite a lot of photos - here are just a few

This Sunday, the 3rd is Apple Day at the Gardens. There will be many different varieties of apples to taste and buy together with stalls, competitions and dancing displays.

Apples, pumpkins and potatoes had already been displayed in the greenhouse and summerhouse

Whilst wandering around the wilder gardens outside the formal walled area, I came across a "stumpery" hidden away in a wood. The photos aren't very good as it was so gloomy I had to use flash but its nice to see toadstools growing on some of the tree stumps

I've experimented again with black and white photos although I must admit I think black and white probably works best with old black and white timbered buildings

Monday, 27 September 2010

Lunar Underwing and Autumnal Flowers

I wasn't expecting many moths when I opened the moth trap on Saturday morning as the minimum overnight temperature had dropped to 2.3 degrees centigrade and it had started raining on Friday evening just after I had set up the trap.

Amongst the soaking wet egg boxes I found just two moths - a small square-spot and a lunar underwing. The latter is the first I have trapped this year and, although another lbj of the moth world, it does have pretty markings.

Summary of Moths Caught on Friday, 24th September, 2010

7.30 p.m. to dawn

Minimum temperature 2.3 degrees centigrade

Actinic 15w Skinner Trap

1 x Small Square-spot
1 x Lunar Underwing

Garden Update

The garden is starting to look very autumnal as more and more berries ripen and leaves are starting to change colour.

We have several iceplants scattered around the garden planted to attract butterflies although I must admit I have rarely seen a butterfly on them - any butterflies that appear at this time of the year seem to prefer the michaelmas daisies.

We have quite a few different varieties of fuschia scattered around the garden but this delicate pink one is my favourite.

As michaelmas daisies come into flower they always seem to herald the arrival of autumn.

I found a sycamore sapling showing symptoms of tar spot fungus on its leaves.

The ivy flowers are coming into bloom ready to attract late flying insects.

This seems a good year for berries both in the countryside and the garden - blackbirds have almost eaten the whole garden rowan berry crop and wood pigeons have started on these pyracantha berries.

Yesterday three young squirrels visited the garden amusing me again with their antics. We don't get many visits from cats these days thank goodness but yesterday and today I have seen one in the garden that is delighting in stalking the birds and even tried to catch one of the young grey squirrels which just managed to reach the whitebeam tree in time.