"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.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Primrose Weekend at St Patrick's Church, Earlswood

On Saturday afternoon I visited St Patrick's Church, Earlswood, which was holding a Primrose Weekend event. The church is an outstandingly beautiful Grade II listed Victorian Church described by English Heritage as "A striking and unexpected accent in a wholly rural landscape".

The churchyard was a delight to behold with clumps of primroses everywhere.

As can be seen from the sign in the photo below part of the churchyard is now being managed as a wildlife conservation area. There was a variety of birdlife to be seen, nestboxes had been erected, bumble bees were everywhere together with 3 Peacock butterflies.

A few photos of the Primroses

Lots of other Spring flowers on show too

including one of my favourites - the Wood Anemone

There were quite a few plants for sale and I added an Auricula to my collection - one day I'll have enough for an Auricula Theatre of my own :)

The entrance porch to the church has typical Victorian Gothic Revival decorative stonework

with St Patrick looking down on visitors as they arrive.

The Font features carved emblems of the four evangelists - some shown below.

Brass Eagle Lectern

The Parson's stained glass Window on the south wall depicts the figures of St George and St Martin and was given in memory of Charles and Eric Parsons (father and son)

The Chancel

contains the choir stalls and organ loft. Of particular note are the intricately carved "poppy heads" (eight octagonal-shaped ends to the choir stalls) depicting various plants mentioned in the Bible.

The East Window contains stained glass depicting St Thomas, St Patrick, Christ in Majesty, St Mary Magdalene and St Anne.

I've posted quite a few photos below of the really beautiful Sanctuary.

The West end of the Nave contains two large murals depicting the life of St. Patrick. They date to 1913 and were painted by Bernard Sleigh. They show St Patrick leaving France for Ireland and preaching on Easter Day to the King of Ireland. The balcony was also added in 1913.

Many thanks to TP who very kindly emailed me to tell me of this event. I am very grateful as it gave me an opportunity to look round the beautiful church and admire the wildlife friendly churchyard and beautiful display of primroses.

Reference: Welcome to St Patrick's Church, Salter Street - A Guide for Visitors