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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

This is serious!

I have recently been re reading "Only One Earth", which was written as a "guide " to the 1972 UN conference on the Global Environment.
All the issues now being reported on by George and others were well known and debated 40 years ago.
Such was the apparent concern that world leaders and Governments prepared and duly signed in 1992 various documents to address the ever growing seriousness of the problems  facing us all. All the reports from Rio +20 are worrying. Below is part of one of those reports.

Just to try and cheer myself up I've added at the end a few photos taken in our local meadow this last week!

Please read on:

Posted: 22 Jun 2012 06:06 AM PDT
The Rio Declaration rips up the basic principles of environmental action.
By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website, 22nd June 2012

In 1992 world leaders signed up to something called “sustainability”. Few of them were clear about what it meant; I suspect that many of them had no idea. Perhaps as a result, it did not take long for this concept to mutate into something subtly different: “sustainable development”. Then it made a short jump to another term: “sustainable growth”. And now, in the 2012 Earth Summit text that world leaders are about to adopt, it has subtly mutated once more: into “sustained growth”.
This term crops up 16 times in the document, where it is used interchangeably with sustainability and sustainable development. But if sustainability means anything, it is surely the opposite of sustained growth. Sustained growth on a finite planet is the essence of unsustainability.
As Robert Skidelsky, who comes at this issue from a different angle, observes in the Guardian today:
“Aristotle knew of insatiability only as a personal vice; he had no inkling of the collective, politically orchestrated insatiability that we call economic growth. The civilization of “always more” would have struck him as moral and political madness. And, beyond a certain point, it is also economic madness. This is not just or mainly because we will soon enough run up against the natural limits to growth. It is because we cannot go on for much longer economising on labour faster than we can find new uses for it.”
Several of the more outrageous deletions proposed by the United States – such as any mention of rights or equity or of common but differentiated responsibilities – have been rebuffed. In other respects the Obama government’s purge has succeeded, striking out such concepts as “unsustainable consumption and production patterns” and the proposed decoupling of economic growth from the use of natural resources.
Bee Orchid

 Goats Beard in seed with a Grass Vetchling which happened to be nicely placed in front.

 And  grasses which are flowering well right now. This is Quaking Grass

Friday, June 15, 2012

Meadow photographs

Here are some of my photos taken this afternoon in a break in the showers.

All seen in our meadow or in the adjacent hedge.

Burnet Moth (possibly Five-spot)


Bee Orchid

Very fresh Pyramidal Orchids

Goats Beard with a Grass Vetchling

Quaking Grass

A caterpillar!?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wildlife Photography of Insects.Osmia bicolor.

The Mason Bee Story

Dear readers,
Its an exciting privilege for me to be able to use my Blog to help you to be amongst the first people to  hear about a new book on the subject of insect photography. Even better than a poster to publicise it I am showing photographs taken by John Bebbington, the Author. I asked John to provide some words to go with the photographs and I am sure you will appreciate how this story demonstrates the wonder of the natural world which is all around us. Below is Johns commentary, details of the book and some of his photographs taken very recently and not included in the book as far as I know.
We have here a combination of photographic skill, keen observation of wildlife in our own back gardens and dedication to the study of the natural world. I have collected quite a few books on wildlife in recent years and I will be ordering this one as soon as its available. As you will know I have avoided advertising on this Blog and this is a one off exception.

Please note that the link shown below takes you to the publisher but you may prefer to  contact the author direct: 

Signed copies can be obtained fro £16.99 including p&p from the author at Quantock View, Newtown, Langport TA10 9SE. Cheques payable to John Bebbington please.


Mason Bee story.  

"Here are the images of the Mason Bee and its larva. It is the Two-coloured Mason Bee Osmia bicolor.

The bee had built cells between the two doors of our garden shed so that when we opened the shed the cells were exposed and one fell off. Even with the door open she returned and started to repair the cells. We wondered if the pollen was that of Welsh Poppy, which is abundant in our garden, so we looked at pollen from the larval cell which had fallen off the door and at pollen from a Welsh Poppy – they were the same.   The next morning we watched the bee gathering Welsh Poppy pollen.

I repaired the damaged cells with clingfilm and scotch tape and they seem to be OK."

"Photography book My book ‘Insect Photography – Art and techniques’ is due to be published by Crowood Press on 15th June. Details are on the Crowood Press website at"


 Two-coloured Mason Bee Osmia bicolor.  Photo by John Bebbington

the Mason Bee repairing the cells.   Photo  John Bebbington

The Mason Bee larva in its laval cell. Photo  John Bebbington

Friday, June 08, 2012

Do Bats fly in the day time?

Did you see the BBC Spring Watch programme last night. They talked about comments from a viewer who had filmed a bat flying in daylight. You should be able to see the programme again on iPlayer.
Suggested explanations were given including bad weather and a cold previous night, lack of insects flying at night and a hungry bat.  It was not thought to be a good plan for a bat as they become an easy target for predatory birds.
I'll look at the web site for the programme which can be found at this link.   click here:
or use this web address

On the recorded programme you need to move the time marker along to 13. 40 min and the item runs until 15.40 min

You can also go to my earlier post on 12th September  2006.  The label link should work to take you to it.
I've just checked the bat lable and was surprised how many posts I've made on the subject!

Changes to my Blog

I've decided to have a fresh look at how I present my Blog. I've started by stripping out one or two features like the list of labels which filled up a lot of space. Each post will still have labels and you can still click on any shown on a post to see other posts on the same subject. I've taken off the heading and photo which was a bit old news! Ironically as the orchid and Ladies Bedstraw shown are just about to come into flower again!!
It will be interesting to see if I get any comments or if the viewings change. Its all a big experiment really.
I must also find the time to update my 365 photo coverage of the year but maybe there is a better way of showing you an album on Picasa or similar.
Any advice you can offer is welcome.
Best wishes to all,

Pictures below from my visit to a nature reserve on the south coast. There are three Turns here all squabbling about nesting space. The aerial acrobatics display was very impressive!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Barcroft Hall, South Petherton.

I recently received the email copied below which gives up to date information about the Field of Dreams. I am hoping to visit soon after the opening date of 30th June.
This is a very big experiment in creating a wild flower meadow out of derelict farm land and produced a wonderful display last summer. I took this photo last summer:

As usual more information is on their web . Click here:

Or copy this web address:

Brian and Denise have worked hard to create the meadows , orchards and gardens and support local charities and I hope eventually to persuade them to support Somerset Wildlife Trust not just because of their Field of Dreams but because of the work done throughout their estate.

The conservation techniques employed here are somewhat different to the usual approach of the Wildlife Trust  but I feel its a good idea to visit to get your own view of their efforts across the whole of their estate.


From: Brian Herrick <>
Date: 29 May 2012 14:04:01 GMT+01:00
To: Brian Herrick <>

Hi Everyone

It seems like summer is here at last!

I thought I would write and let you know that the Field of Dreams 2012, despite the difficult spring weather is flourishing and  and we hope to see the first blooms within weeks, ready for the gates to open on Saturday June 30th. 2012.

This year there are over 60 different wildflower species planted and an even larger area for you to enjoy!

So if you are thinking of visiting us please register as soon as you know your plans.

For those who are wanting to come to the wonderful ‘Opera through the Flowers’ on July 7th. then I would strongly advise you to book as early as possible as it is proving very popular indeed and there is a limited number of tickets available. It’s an evening designed for everyone to enjoy!

You can book by telephoning 01444 443000 or on line

All other details about this year’s Field of Dreams, accommodation, places to eat and directions are to found by visiting

Thanks so much for your support, all for charity!

With best wishes

Book Now for ‘Opera Through the Flowers’ 2012 Book Here:

See the Field of Dreams on BBC Gardeners World here:

Brian & Denise Herrick
‘Field of Dreams’
Barcroft Hall, North Street,South Petherton,Somerset, UK, TA13 5DA

Follow us on Twitter  -  @barcrofthall

Friday, June 01, 2012

Brownsea Island

Just back from a visit to this well known and lovely Island Nature Reserve. Owned by the National Trust with about 20% managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Lovely warm day with a little cloud and a lot of sun.  A big attraction was the possible sighting of the rare Red Squirrels, leaflets say they are more active in the Autumn and we wern't lucky. We did see the half eaten cones as shown below. The range of habitats is quite remarkable in such a small area. With my new interest in Lichens I found plenty of interest and different to those in  Somerset, also shown below.

The star display of wild life were the noisy and very active terns nesting and rearing chicks on the lagoon islands created close to the Mac Hide. This is in the area managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust which has its headquarters in the "Villa" located in the centre of the reserve.

The Lichens shown I will try to get identified and add details to this post.