"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, 29 September 2017

Recent Reading, Afternoon Tea and Moth Night

Recent Reading

A few books I have read recently......

I was fortunate enough to "win" on Twitter this beautiful book about The Churches Conservation Trust churches.

The CCT conserves over 340 churches which are no longer used for regular worship by the Church of England. The book features 36 of the churches the Trust conserves with photographs and descriptions by Matthew Byrne. It is a book to treasure and it certainly made me want to visit as many of the churches as I can.

I think the "Moth Catcher" is the best book in the Vera Stanhope series so far - really enjoyed.

"Hidden Histories - A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape" by Mary-Ann Ochota is a superb book. I read it from cover to cover and will now use it extensively as a reference book. It covers a huge number of features you might spot in the landscape, So if you want to know about Long Barrows, Hillforts, castles, fields, stone monuments of all types, Roman Roads, Ancient Trackways, stone tools, how to age a hedge or spot Ancient Woodland, field names, Ancient trees, village place and pub names, commons, deserted villages, how to age a church, etc. etc......... the list is endless!, this is the book for you.

Another hugely enjoyable Ruth Galloway story - what will I do when I have finished this series?

My third Maisie Dobbs novel and I think this is the best so far.

Afternoon Tea

E was given a voucher for Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea at Cafe Isabella in Solihull for her birthday and yesterday she treated me. (After a short break I have re-commenced arranging work at my mother's house - sadly, it is never-ending and I think she thought I was in dire need of cheering up!!)

The cafe is full of vintage items and the tea table was laid out in such a delightful and charming manner. The food was delicious and there was a huge selection. In fact we never managed to eat the slices of cake and they were kind enough to provide a container to bring them home.

I am not sure how many people who live locally read this blog but if you are near Solihull this cafe in Drury Lane by Mell Square is well worth a visit. They serve delicious food.

Marvellous Moth Night at St Patrick's Church, Earlswood

A few weeks ago I was asked if I could take my moth trap along and lead a group of participants in the above event. It is always a good event very well organised by Tony Philp, on behalf of the Earlswood Wildlife Partnership, with delicious cakes made by his wife Barbara and it is a joy to see the interest shown by people who take part in learning more about moths and trying to identify some caught in the traps that evening.

Sadly neither D or I remembered to take our cameras so I don't have any photos of the actual event.

Setaceous Hebrew Character was the most common moth caught during the evening and other species trapped included Square-spot Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Snout, Grey Pine Carpet, Lunar Underwing, Brimstone and Lesser Yellow Underwing.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Dahlias and Scarecrows at Baddesley Clinton

Every September I try and go along to NT Baddesley Clinton to see the dahlia and scarecrow displays so one sunny afternoon last week B and I visited.

Timothy came too.


Although very beautiful the long dahlia bed if I am honest didn't seem quite as stunning as usual and this notice explained why.

Still lots of colour in the herbaceous borders.

Usually at this time of year there are butterflies on the dahlias and sedums but this year I saw none. However, on the way to the kitchen garden we saw quite a few Red Admirals feeding on rotting plums - sorry I couldn't get any closer to get a better image.

Scarecrows in the Kitchen Garden - this year the theme was the Wizard of Oz.

This was the closest Timothy would go to the Wicked Witch!

B discovered something I had missed in all the years I have been visiting Baddesley - this tall bird bath has a dedication to Edith Holden - sorry rubbish photo I couldn't get the camera high enough to get a picture of all the words but I will take a pen and paper next time I go and make a note of the words.

Nice display of cuddly toys in the gift shop - the lop-eared rabbits had very similar colourings to one of our rabbits - Pipkin (sadly no longer with us).

No cake - I had to get back to do a food shop :(