Flowers, fruits and fellow foragers

A quick round up of some current Gribin Isaf life:

Flowers

These lilies dominate the entrance to the tunnel, towering overhead and filling the air with sweetness

20190717-20

20190715-07

20190712-06

The perennial sweet pea plant, also in the tunnel, also adopting giant dimensions

20190717-04

The Creeping Jenny is doing what it does

20190717-22

20190716-45-2

20190716-36

20190716-34

20190716-26-2

20190716-19

20190714-19-2

20190714-12-2

20190712-09-2

20190712-06-2

20190712-03-2

Fruits

We transplanted a lot of the raspberries at the end of last season but they do not seem to have suffered

20190717-25

20190717-26

20190713-02-2

The other soft fruit is definitely for sharing – mainly with the blackbirds

20190717-11-2

20190717-10-2

20190716-50

The first tomatoes are forming

20190717-12

Strawberries keep coming

20190717-02

20190716-29

20190716-28

Fellow foragers

Some of the other animals that are sharing these delights.

This froglet has been hanging out in the tunnel

20190717-05

20190716-47-2

20190716-21-2

20190716-19-2

20190716-09-2

20190716-16-2

20190716-13

20190714-95

20190714-14

20190714-05

Advertisements

Grass-go-round

Its that time of year again:

20190708-171

when summer grass is stored for winter forage.

In some ways, the farming next to us follows the same simple system it always has

20190713-04-2

Sheep and cattle graze the growing grass and then during the summer some fields are allowed to grow so the grass can be cut

20190713-08

and stored for when the cattle are inside later in the year

20190714-125

and brought back out to the fields to supplement what the sheep can graze when the temperature drops.

Compared to much agricultural technology these days the machinery used next to us is fairly basic

20190714-21-2

However there are two changes to this cycle which have drastically changed the diversity of life in this landscape. The switch from hay to silage with its earlier cut and high level of fertiliser used has greatly reduced the variety of species and habitats.

20190714-16

In addition, the field next to us was ploughed up a couple of years ago and sown with a commercial grass seed – something that happens to all silage fields every few years – eridicating any native species trying to get a foothold.

So, today the Kites come low

20190714-54

looking for small mammal casualties and the cattle wait in the wings

20190714-114

– they will come in to graze the uncut edges and then the mucking out from their winter quarters will be returned to the field.

We have one less Woodpecker tonight, thanks to the Sparrowhawk, although human intervention might have meant it lived to see another day minus some of its feathers.

20190705-08

Dry for the harvesting but a light dampness a couple of days ago brought out a welcome visitor

20190711-18

Coals to Newcastle?

One way of judging goings on at Gribin Isaf is the “how mad do our neighbouring farmers think we are?” index. Keeping rabbits comes fairly high up when there are already plenty in the surrounding fields. However we are looking for something meatier.

20190711-03

Although deciding on the delightful Silver Fox breed for our new project may make that a challenge.

20190708-04-2

Our breeding stock so far consists of one rabbit – Rory the Buck

20190711-09

Choosing this comparatively less popular breed might be providing an additional challenge in that tracking down some does to which he is not related may mean travelling a long way.

Meanwhile he is in temporary solitary accommodation

20190703-21

and although he shows no concern at all about inquisitive dogs

20190703-11

he can trigger Jessie’s barking-at-small-furry-things response to the extent where she gets quite hoarse, so we quickly had to make a bit of a buffer zone

20190703-19

20190703-23

Before long this was extended

20190708-01-2

20190711-12

so that, when Jessie is not looking, Rory can come out to play

He is very happy being handled

20190706-24

20190703-15

enjoys a variety of challenges

20190712-22

and a range of tastes

20190709-16

So, if you know of any Silver Fox does near you…

20190711-05

…do let him know.

Sensual Delight

A quick round of some recent sensual stimuli…

Tastes – now and coming soon:

20190629-05-2

20190710-08-2

20190710-04-2

20190709-13

20190707-16

20190707-10

20190630-01-2

20190710-10-2

The visual delights of flowering blooms

20190702-18

20190703-01

20190703-05

20190703-09-2

20190703-10-2

20190706-06

20190706-08

20190707-07-2

20190707-08-2

20190707-20

20190708-01

20190708-94

20190709-03-2

20190709-04-2

20190709-10

20190709-11

20190710-03-2

20190710-05

20190710-09-2

and when the light fades the scents swell – Honeysuckle, Wisteria, the Mock Orange

20190703-06

and the thousand blooms

20190703-08

of the rambling rose

20190706-21

And no more satisfying sight than a large fresh hedgehog dropping

20190703-03

Rabbit Picture of the Day

20190709-21

Rory upends his salad bowl to find the tasty bits.

The Female Emperor

Another first for us today

20190708-06

with a female Emperor Dragonfly

20190708-08

coming to lay eggs

20190708-30

20190708-60

20190708-58

20190708-49

20190708-83

The Wide-bodied Chaser

20190708-72

keeps watch

20190708-87

Another first was the Small Skipper

20190703-20-2

to join our butterfly list which includes, among others, the Ringlets, currently out in good numbers

20190707-03-2

20190708-127

the Painted Ladies

20190703-15-2

20190703-17-2

and the Red Admiral

20190702-02-2

which is always to be found on the same small beat around a bare path and a shed roof

20190708-143

the same spot that has been occupied by one of his species each year.

Also a wide variety of small moths around. These were inside the house

20190707-03

20190707-04

20190707-09

Rabbit Picture of the Day

20190708-05-2

Rory enjoys a mixed salad selected from here

The Chase Is On

Down at The Lake

20190704-01

the water is thick with life

20190704-02

20190704-05

and after The Chase of The Chasers the triumphant male

20190704-102

has the territory to himself

20190704-101

He spots what he is after

20190704-20

20190704-71

and the chase is on

20190704-06

Mating takes place on the wing, escaping capture on camera, which is a pity because:

“Mating in dragonflies is unique. The male first transfers sperm from near the tip of his abdomen to accessory genitalia near the top of the abdomen. He then grasps a female by the back of the head with his abdominal claspers (tandem position). The female curls the tip of her abdomen to meet the male’s accessory genitalia and sperm is transferred (the wheel position). This process can take a few seconds (in species of Chasers) or many hours (Blue-tailed Damselflies).”

Then the female immediately starts depositing eggs on the water surface

20190704-55

20190704-46

20190704-37

20190704-36

We look forward to more chasing chasers next year.