Friday, 23 September 2022

MARE and FOAL and LOCAL FINDS.

Some time ago, I was walking near a neighbouring farm when I saw a Mare with its Foal in a partly cleared field. The light was fading but golden, and today I am sharing just a few photos of this delightful scene, and a few other encounters with nature. This will be a short post, as my computer is still giving me a hard time.

 









It had been a long time since I had seen so many Sparrows.


This Lark was in the same field, which I nearly passed by, although in full view, its colouring was almost the same as the ground, in which it lay.


I took this photo one day when I went a ride in my daughters' car.


Nearer home a few wildflowers caught my attention.











Friday, 16 September 2022

THE CRESTED TIT Lophophanes cristatus

So far, I have had my fair share of ups and downs this month, The chemist gave me the wrong medication, which looked exactly like the box I had just finished but was in fact a much stronger dose than I needed. It was my daughter Eva who discovered the cause for the stomach cramps I had been suffering for over two weeks and phoned me immediately she found out. When I stopped taking it, those awful pains subsided. Another downer was a visit to the eye specialist who told me I have Cataracts in both eyes, the reason for my blurred vision. My computer went berserk and drove me to distraction for a number of days, and my mouse refused to work, so I did what I always do, when I'm a little stressed, I sat out on my balcony, and watched the birds, and even took these photos of the cute Crested tit.

It started raining at last, and has rained heavily all week, something to be thankful for, and we have even had a few sunny periods in between, but whatever else may have happened, which I won't go into now, I can always rely on my lovely balcony birds to turn up each morning, which gives me enormous pleasure. They are usually of the Tit species, and I love them all, but there is one that I have a particular penchant for and that is the Crested tit.












































Crest up or down, immature or mature, I am privileged to see the Crested Tit every day of the year and hear its happy call. The trilling sound alerts me to their presence before I see them. They are not a colourful bird, like the Blue tit, but they are so distinctive with the black markings round their little faces and black collar, black eyes and beak, and their wonderful head crest.




Tuesday, 6 September 2022

THE MALE and FEMALE BLACK REDSTART phoenicuras ochruros

The next two photos are rather dark, because they were taken late one afternoon. They are of the male Black redstart eating a worm.









It is a pity that the orange tail in almost all of these shots is hardly visible.






A small section of the orange tail is visible here.



The Female Black redstart. You can clearly see the orange tail here.



Sometimes it is even difficult to see the facial fetchers of the male, because of it's jet black face.



A female Black redstart.














Black redstarts are widespread throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. Their breeding season starts in May and usually ends in June. I have seen very few this year, fewer than in previous years. In the image above you can see one on my balcony. It came to see why other birds were flying to and from my balcony, but it didn't stay long. Photo taken in July of this year.                

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

WALKS WITH MY GRANDSON.

It always feels good to return to blogging, and I have many photos to share with you. Every morning Pedro and I took a walk together, after Pedro had taken his walk which also included running uphill. He is so fit, but also so patient, and he adapted to my gait when we were together, and held my arm when we walked down steps. Normally he spends a lot of time on the computer in his job, which is a book designer. He is a graphic artist specialising in page composition, and he and his father also design book covers. Whilst he was here, he also worked each morning before his walk. Here are a few photos I took on our outings.


Early morning skies




One of the many paths we took.

On our first walk we saw a Jersey-tiger moth, a diurnal moth as well as nocturnal moth. It came flying towards us and luckily came to rest on the stone balustrade. It's a striking looking moth in repose but even more beautiful in flight. 


Three poses of an attractive grasshopper  





We walked down a number of pathways keeping in the shade.







 

This was another flying insect which came flying towards us. It was huge, and quite scary, but beautiful at the same time. I managed to take one photo before it flew away. Anyone know what it is? 

It was larger than any wasp or hornet, so I'm still searching for the ID. 

My thanks to Cloudia from Comfort Spiral for the ID of this insect. It is a Milesia (fly) the European species Milesia craniformis. It is the genus of a very large Hoverfly and although larger, is a convincing mimic of the Hornet species.


One day we saw smoke billowing behind the mountain range, and it was quite near to  where we live, but the firemen were quick to respond, and they soon extinguished the fire.There have been so many fires this year.


Some unusual sky shots.











In mid July in the chestnut grove I saw what looked like fledgling blackbirds,


but Blackbirds usually make their nests close to the ground, so they must have been other large birds.



Near the pond we saw this red Dragonfly.






This fungi made me smile, as it seemed to be walking with one large foot. :=)

A footnote: that is not about this post, but it is about nature, and saving our planet.
Just yesterday, I was horrified to learn that in the UK, some people are replacing their grass lawns,   hedges, and even trees with plastic imitations! Many front gardens have been concreted over for  parking cars, causing more habitat loss, and I'm sure this does not happen just in the UK of course.  What is happening to the human race if they can't be bothered to water their lawns or sweep up a few leaves? These "plastic people" manufacturers included are not taking care of nature, they are desecrating all that is beautiful about our planet. I fear for the future generations to come.


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