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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Field Study Centres face closure

I have been passing this message on by Twitter and it may be of interest to Bloggers too. Its an extract from an email I received yesterday!

Use this link to view the youtube video produced by the Field Studies Council:

From: Steve Tilling []
Sent: 25 January 2012 10:46
To: Steve Tilling
Subject: Save Our Outdoor Education Centres

We have launched a petition to the government calling for them to protect outdoor education centres from imminent closure.

One in three Local Authority outdoor education centres are facing closure which could mean millions of young people are denied potentially life-changing experiences, at a time when health, physical activity and contact with nature are all declining.  Some children from poorer and disadvantaged groups may not have another opportunity to share a night away from home and visit places they would not otherwise see. 

The sad fact is that closure need not happen, in many cases given extra time these centres could become self sufficient.  If centres close they may not reopen again.

I'll add a link to see the petition a bit later.

This photo is nothing to do with the email above. I took it in a pub whilst having lunch the other day. Its a very good view of the parts of a flower. The sort of thing our Botany Group have been studying.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A photo a day Jan16th to 20th

A rainy day to day, managed a few photos after the rain and taking the opportunity to update my Blog.

The small pond freezes over. 0 C  - Jan 16

The dragon fly bugs I photographed in August have been identified for me:
It looks to be a libellulid dragonfly larva, most probably Libellula depressa, the Broad-bodied Chaser.  I think your pond was in its first year last summer - is that correct?
It would be nice to know when it was actually filled with water.  This dragonfly is an early species (May) and a colonizer of new ponds.  So very likely your specimen was hatched out from an egg laid in May and had grown well and quickly thro' the summer.  The adult should emerge next spring i.e. in about 4 months all being well. "

I will be hoping to photograph the event!!       

Garryaceae elliptica fully in  flower-Jan 17

Rose picked in garden -Jan 18

Snowdrops in shade on east side of garden just opening  -Jan19

Probably Helleborus orientalis. Jan20

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A photo a day Jan 11th to Jan 15th

All a bit time consuming, this photo a day lark.  Trying to keep up with it as a record of things happening in our garden. The middle of winter is a hard time to start but it is surprising just what nature is busy doing despite the cold. So here are another batch.


 This is the first snowdrop found in a corner of the garden. -Jan11th

This lonely crocus was showing in the lawn and a bit tattered. - Jan12th

The weather forecast was spot on and it was foggy across the levels of Somerset. - Jan13th

The next day was quite a different picture and frosty. - Jan14th

In the middle of our lawn in a spot from where it will have to be removed this thistle has been steadily getting established. This takes us to 15th Jan.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A photo a day jan 6th- 10th

Lonicera fragrantissima-Jan6

Crambe cordifloria-Jan7

Mosses and Lichen on slab by lawn-Jan8

lichens various-Jan9

Ivy- Jan10

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The big question

Our local wildlife conservation group has frequently thought about what we are trying to do and whether it is what our members expect and so in the next copy of the SWT magazine we hope to show the following open letter to our members. But you can read it first.

Yes, but what do you do? I've been asked that a few times and considering all the meetings and events we organise, I see it as a wake-up call.

It gives me the feeling that we're not making much impact. I'm still searching for a sensible answer but we do have options.
We can play it safe with a few meetings on easy subjects or we can become much more radical and arrange discussions on the bigger issues. These could be changes to local planning rules and the status of local wildlife sites, delays in setting up marine conservation areas or the effect on wildlife of anticipated changes to farming subsidies.

We could do more to support local campaigns like the appeal for the Chalkhill Blue Butterfly project.

Our national body, The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, is celebrating 100 years since it was set up and pursues nationally important campaigns including how the High Speed train projects will affect wildlife. Should we get more involved with these? Check out their website.

What do YOU think? We'd like to know but whatever we do, we need your active support. Find out more and how to contact us at:

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A photo a day in 2012

My family thought it would be a good idea if I posted a photo each day taken in our garden featuring our wildlife patch but not necessarily excluding garden plants so I've started but its been a bit difficult to keep up the 365 schedule. Here are the first few. 
(The choice of photo revised 14.01.12)

January 1st;   Garryaceae elliptica just flowering.

Choisya ternata -Jan2

Fly checking out the notice-Jan3

Our new pond very still-Jan4

January 5th; This doesn't really show the strong winds last night when fences were blown down.
Trying to show effect of strong winds on Eucalyptus

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Anger over plans to weaken EU wildlife protection | The Wildlife Trusts

Anger over plans to weaken EU wildlife protection | The Wildlife Trusts

The national organisation supporting the Wildlife Trusts around the counties has a web page( see above link) to communicate its views on important national issues. Somerset Wildlife Trust is very involved and we want to keep our MP's informed of our views. Please visit this web site to keep up to date on development

Ragwort identification

Towards the end of last summer I was trying to decide what form of Ragwort was growing in our meadow and requested help from Anne and  John Bebbington. It may be that we have both Hoary and Common Ragwort. To help John has sent me these photos and as they look so bright and cheerful on this very wet, gloomy and windy January day I thought I would show them here.

First Common or Senecio jacobea

Next is Hoary Ragwort or Senecio erucifolius

And finally both together.

I'm sure you can tell which is which?

All photos by John Bebbington.When summer arrives again I'll report back on my identification efforts!

Monday, January 02, 2012

A Moment In Time Photography Alaska

A Moment In Time Photography Alaska

Its a little chilly here in Somerset and I am trying to get one or two photos in our garden each day in 2012. After the second warmest year ever its not surprising that we have no snow. Whilst I sort out my photos the link shown above should take you to Alaska and some snow covered trees. Happy new year!