Thursday 22 August 2019

Mablethorpe Time and Tide Bell

On 22nd August, needing to take Jet for a walk and also wanting to go and find the new Time and Tide Bell Sculpture north of Mablethorpe we headed down the coast.  It wasn't long before we parked up on a quiet car park at Theddlethorpe.  It was warm and sunny as we made our way through the dunes, wide at this point, and out onto the wide expanse of beach.  
We turned south and before long could see Mablethorpe in the distance.  All around were piles of razor shells, which we collected to make plant labels for the garden - much better than plastic.  We also had excellent views of a wheatear already making its way south to Africa, its summer over.  Other early migrants, terns, could be heard calling as they fished just beyond the tide line.  After about a mile we reached the time and tide bell.

The Time and Tide Bell is a sculpture by artist Marcus Vergette’s placed on the shoreline to the north of Mablethorpe in June 2019. It is the seventh such bell to installed around the country since the start of the project in 2009 and the only one in Lincolnshire. At high tide the waves ring the bell adding an extra dimension to the artwork.  The beach to the North of Mablethorpe is vast and entirely unspoiled. The tidal bell adds an unexpected piece of art to be discovered whilst fitting in with the natural surroundings. 

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Dragons in the Cemetery

As the afternoon remained warm and sunny I decided on a walk round the horsefield and woodland cemetery to see if I could find any common blue butterflies as, Although there are reports of good numbers this year, I have yet to photograph any.  That remains the case as I did not see even one.  As I walked through the cut at the end of the road I enjoyed, as usual, the magnificent silver birch growing there and couldn't resist photographing the bark.  I also passed a buddhlia that had attracted a lot of tortoiseshell and at least 6 painted ladies - an exceptional year for them.  Unfortunately the painted ladies were high up and didn't present themselves for photography.
Although pleasant on the Horsefield there were few butterflies about: several whites and ringlets, a very worn small copper and a single painted lady.  Blackberries are cropping well here this year, although the magnificent display of knapweed has now gone over.
Butterflies were few and far between in the woodland cemetery as well although I found quite a few common darters and, to my delight, good numbers of migrant hawker dragonflies as well.  I saw more on Thursday in the main part of the cemetery.  One in particular posed really well, allowing for plenty of photography, including some extreme head close-ups.
Small Tortoiseshell

Silver Birch
Common Darter, female

Common Darter, female

Common Darter, male

Common Darter, male

Migrant Hawker, male

Migrant Hawker, male

Migrant Hawker, male

An abundance of Tortoiseshells in the garden

The garden continues to delight this year.  We are especially pleased with the raised beds and with the two different eucomis or pineapple lilies we have in pots.  We have two canna lilies that look healthy, although yet still small and unlikely to flower this year.  The lavender, scabious, verbena bonariensis and especially the agapanthus have done exceptionally well and have attracted a large number of butterflies.  Of late we have enjoyed large numbers of small tortoiseshell butterflies particularly on the flowers in the raised bed and on the verbenas.

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Lake District, August 2019. Day 7

Torrential rain for most of the day today.  Eventually we stirred ourselves and went for lunch at the Hawkshead Brewery in Stavely; well why not???  After lunch the weather improved so a I made a trip to Foushaw Moss.  Sadly it was
breezy and there was little about: one black darter several common darters lots of baby lizards and a comma.

Monday 5 August 2019

Lake District, August 2019. Day 6

A much cooler and fresher morning today.  We planned a short walk from Stickle Barn in Langdale for some photography and drawing.  Part of me is frustrated about not being able to walk on the tops but this short walk made me realise that I am not as well and fit as I tend to think I am.  I found it really hard walk.  As my aortic valve has been replace and the AF sorted it must be a combination of the ventricular dysfunction, the medication I am on and plain lack of fitness.  Nonetheless it has been a good day with mixed sun and cloud and great views.  We set out from the National Trust car park at Stickle Barn.  The footpath led us across the fields and through a farmyard where the ho house is now a holiday let.  Next came a short section of well-maintained uphill after which we negotiated a wall gate and chose a pleasant spot by a clapper bridge for lunch.  The hill path followed the undulations of the Cumbria Way gradually returning to the valley bottom at Oak Howe.  Crossing Great Langdale Beck we returned to Stickle Barn along the old valley road.  This gives excellent views of the Langdale Pikes although the lane has been surface so no longer any reflections in puddles.  After a welcome restorative in Stickle Barn it was time to return to the site to prepare for the evening bbq and Thomas's arrival.