These images were taken in May 2015.
These images were taken in May 2015.
White Egrets represent a major success for nature conservation in Somerset. Kevin Anderson will tell us how these birds came to nest here in 2012, how they have been doing since, and the story behind their protection.
In The United Reform Church Hall Somerton, beginning at 7.30 pm but with Tea & Coffee available before this time. Suitable for wheelchair users/limited mobility. Members £2.50 Non Members £3.00
The bird hide has had some long needed attention and now has new door handle, tighter fitting flaps to the viewing ports and even a shelf for books and a coat hook!
Its a great place to hangout without the milling throng at more public places like the Chard LNR
You get there with a walk across farmland to the reserve where a number of gravel pits now filled with water is home to visiting water fowl and local birds. See my earlier postings.
Much of the reserve is old quarry workings now filled with water much to the delight of Dragonflys and invertebrate. I am attracted by the insect life here. The waters are not filled with Carp so no anglers and plenty of water weed and insects.
Bird-life is increasing with sightings book complied by a local bird watcher almost daily.
Link here to the Quarry owners page
As a child one of my earliest memories was riding on the front of my Aunty Kath’s bicycle to Bicester a small village in England. (or was small in 1948)
I had an apple that day and ate it with gusto but was upset to discover a maggot in the apple also feasting. I discarded the portion the magggot had and ate the rest.
Today all the apples are suspiciously visually perfect, no maggot, no blemish, no taste.
This is all thanks to the wonderful chemicals that are provided by mother Monsato and her cousins, problem is what are they doing to me and you when we eat the fruit treated with these chemicals? Having already suffered the loss of a kidney due to a carcinoma caused by the doctors tell me by possibly chemicals in my diet.
Money is the only reason they cover our food with these chemicals to offer what appears to be the perfect apple or fruit yet I would suggest these apples and fruit are identical to the one offered to Snow White by the wicked witch.
I now look for a maggot hole knowing that if it’s OK for the maggot is OK for me and regard these little creatures as my tasters. I welcome the blemishes as signs of none interference in mother nature by the chemical industry peddling death and misfortune on us and all pollinators.
Reject the perfect GM world of supermarket fruit and veg and re-learn to like the spotty spuds, the mis-shapen pears, the odd shaped carrots.
In short just be natural and learn to love mud on a spud.
The loss of our bees, the ever increasing threat to our environment poisoned by profit hungry companies. Each day brings tales of new losses and disasters from the Koala in Australia to Bees and pollinators worldwide, the appalling fires in Indonesia, destruction of habitat everywhere by a species whose cruelty knows no bounds.
Since I ate the apple in 1948 the world population has increased from 1.9 billion to 7 billion in just 60 years and they all want to live the “American dream” but from where I am sitting among a sea of chemical soaked American lawns of only fescue and rye grasses I wonder what effect these chemicals will have on those living in the houses surrounded by these green lifeless deserts.
I no longer want perfect apples or perfect lawns and long for the wild colorful flowerful meadows of my childhood those my grandchildren may never see.
Looking around I am amazed by the huge close shaven lawns in Glenn Aire, Unity Township, Greensburg PA and I was struck by the lack of wild solitary bees and Bumble bees in the gardens where I was staying and the surrounding area, in fact few pollinators were evident at a time when the gardens should be full of them.
This surprised me as the residents are gardeners sitting on thier ride on mowers every weekend. You can see some floral displays they allow to grow in the small plots in their huge lawns.
Clearly the flowers are not nectar rich plants suitable for Mason and leafcutter bees Bumble Bees or any solitary bees in USA. So whats wrong with good old American Flowers that grow freely and cost little or nothing to maintain?
What’s wrong with seeing a dandelion on the lawn ( bees love dandelions) or daisies.? do children still make daisy chains? probably not as they are considered weeds now. Nadine Stair picked the daisies.
The lawns are sprayed regularly and nothing is allowed to spoil the monoculture-ed lawns. It seems to me like an obsession, an expensive obsession with close cropped Fescue and Rye. Costing expensive machinery to cut, chemicals to treat and time wasted on this fruitless pastime. Nothing is done on these lawns they merely sit there as a territorial boundary.
Solitary Bees are important pollinators and will increase the yield of any fruit orchard and they do not sting.
Only one plot had left an area which was blooming with American wildflowers. I called on the owner to ask permission to photograph the flowers which he readily agreed to. Jack has planted this area himself with wildflower seed he has purchased himself. He would like to plant more but the seed he said is expensive.
It occurs to me that if the Westmorland County conservation trusts were to provide wildflower seed to folks with areas of uncultivated land this would beautify and enhance residential areas and provide habitat for solitary bees.
Grass free lawns can be created as can be seen here in a garden in London UK.
Maybe this seems a lot of work but I am sure it would save a lot of time in the long run, time spent cutting, and mowing a lawn which is never ever used for recreational purposes only to give the appearance of tidiness. The expensive mowers and equipment sold to lawn owners. the costly “weed” control treatment.
Seems to me that all is needed is a little old fashioned nature gardening like this link grass free lawns ….
I would add the British lawns although smaller have the same effect on our wildlife.
Things are really looking good at the South West Deer Rescue Centre. The sun was out and new arrivals are popping out nearly every day. The new Red Deer calves are all strong looking and healthy, Mike Gage has done a few quick checks to see what sex they are and beat a hasty retreat if the mother comes thundering over as Red Deer Hinds can be very protective of their young.
One Red Deer calf born on Friday 30th May is white and is tottering around with the herd already. Its great to see the way the others of the herd care for the calf in their midst.
Mike Gage has been operating this Non Profit Venture at Wayford near Crewkerne since 2009 and donations, gifts and adoption of the deer help to pay for the feed and vets fees.
Seeing these gentle creatures close up will be a memorable experience for you and your children.
If you decide to visit make sure you phone first as we can only deal with small parties, this gives you maximum enjoyment of these wonderful creatures and does not stress the deer.
See the Facebook page for contact details or simply phone 07870440392.
I have thoroughly enjoyed every visit and so will you.
Find out more about Mike Gage and the Deer Rescue Centre at www.deer-rescue.com