Rather than throw the honey jar away while there was still some in the bottom, I decided to leave the lid off and place it on it’s side on the Bar-B-Que. In truth I was hoping that it may attract some late night -flying moths. However, after checking it at night for a couple of nights and finding nothing, I gave up the idea, but left the jar.
A day or two later the rain had stooped and the sun was briefly shining. I took a stroll down to the Bar-B-Que and was absolutely amazed at the number of Honey Bees and a couple of Wasps all guzzling as much as they could of the (now solidified) honey. By the time I got there there were two dead Honey Bees and two live wasps amongst the tightly packed in ‘gang’! I watched it quite closely for a while and was surprised to see that both the bees and the wasps all ignored each other.
I was doing some computer housework today and just having a general clean up and sort out. I found one particular photo that I took a while ago. It’s in Rogiet a small village about 5 miles from Chepstow, for those who are not familiar with area, Chepstow is where the Severn Bridge crossing is, the Gateway to Wales. However, there is a small little hideaway in Rogiet and it is owned by the Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) it is a very old area where many moons ago, so I believe, there was some kind of Gypsy dwelling. Later on it also became a local tipping place where the locals would take there rubbish to dump. I understand some nice little finds have been found there over the years. Especially if you are a collector of ‘say’ small tincture bottles and the like. Today is has been cleared and cleaned up by volunteers with GWT into a small nature reserve, and on a nice day it is a lovely place to go and just sit and watch and listen to nature. I have spent many hours there over the years and I have seen everything from newly born Rabbits to soaring Buzzards, not to mention 1000’s of flies of all types and sizes (great if you are a Bug person), bees, birds and a plethora of wildflowers. For those of you who live in the area, I can recommend a 20 minute stroll at The Rogiet Poor Lands site, and it doesn’t have to be a nice sunny day either. I have also been there on a crisp Autumn morning and watched the songbirds hunting for food.
There is no charge to go in and in most cases, depending upon time of year and day you may well be on your own where you can contemplate……..well anything really.
When I say late what I really mean is LAzY! Well kinda. I’m not naturally lazy in fact I’m the opposite, I need to be doing something all the time, otherwise it tends to have a significant impact on my frame of wellbeing. So I am continually doing something, admittedly it is usually in front of a computer and if not then it’s behind the lens (hopefully).
I did mange to actually get out with the camera this past week just for an hour – I have been behind the lens in the studio every day. I decided to visit my local Castle and Country Park (Caldicot) which is really only 2 miles from where I live. It was really enjoyable, I was amazed at how many people were out during the week. It was nice to see them taking advantage of the facility, after all it has been there since about the year 1011. Henry the VIII was rumoured to have stayed at the castle on his way somewhere. I have been fortunate enough to use the inside of the castle for a number of photo shoots. The last with Queenie Mae earlier this year for her Album Cover.
The Autumn colours were truly awesome and I was fortunate enough to capture a couple of colourful shots.
I am now preparing for my ‘dreaded’ birthday next weekend. Age never ever bothered me much not until I reached 65, then in common with many other men no doubt, I began to ‘think’ about age. I was suddenly classed as an OAP, and Old Age Pensioner. But yet I didn’t feel like one thank God! Well that was 6 years ago, so you can imagine how I feel now! And don’t you just hate it when people say “ah…Age is just a number” one will usually find that those persons’ number is under 30!
But having said that I am grateful for relatively good health and I am able to combine some photographic work with looking after and caring for my darling wife of 38 years, although we have been together since the week we met, on the Englebert Humperdinck Summer Show, so that’s 43 years. Her MS of 17 years continues to progress but she does a fantastic job of dealing with it, much better than I could ever do.
Ok…I promise I will post again before Christmas (it says here) but just in case, I hope you will all have everything you wish for, for yourselves and your loved ones.
Some of you may recall that I recently revisited my local wildlife stomping ground only to find that the local Council workers had moved in and chopped everything down, and dredged up all the silt at the bottom of the water, that contained all the larvae, eggs and what not of the local insect life. I was most disappointed but, I know it will come back in time. Whilst I was there I was met by a really nice guy and his wife, his name is Rob and he is a volunteer who tends the wild patch. He basically, from what I can tell, keeps the place generally tidy by litter picking, and the odd bit of pruning here and there. Whatever he does, he does it very well and I and the local Flora & Fauna thank him. Anyway, we got chatting and before long I realised that this chap had a great in-depth knowledge of wildflowers. He asked me if I had seen the wild Orchid in the meadow, I told him I hadn’t and he started to explain where it was and how I should find it. The he suddenly said…Oh come on I’ll show you, he asked his wife if she minded and we left. We had to walk only about 500 yards or so to the meadow (thats the polite word for the couple of acres of scrubland, that is full of wildflowers). Finally amongst a whole bunch of grass and stuff, there was this beautiful flower. It wasn’t what I had expected because I didn’t know that Orchids grew in this shape. Rob went on to explain that he hadn’t managed to identify it yet, that he thought he knew all the Orchids but he couldn’t name this one. I thanked him for his time and I took a couple of pics. Before he left he said oh by the way, on the other side of the road as you come in there is a another smaller stretch of wild area with a pond that hasn’t been disturbed for ages, you may find your Dragonflies and Damselflies there.
So that was quite a few weeks ago now and I really have been bogged down and haven’t had the opportunity to go there until Sunday past. Imagine my joy to see simply loads of insect life abound, including some beautiful Dragonflies. I am hoping to get down there and spend a little longer next week, I shall keep you posted.
And then just one pic of a Southern Hawker Dragonfly from the other wild area.
I had never seen this horse before, I just stopped at the gate whilst out for a quiet walk with my camera. When I stopped at the gate the three horses that were in the distance turned and saw me and made their way across to me. On their arrival I offered the first one an Extra Strong Mint (candy). He just turned up his nose and didn’t take it, then I offered it to the second who took it and proceeded to drop it on the ground. Then this chap pushed his way in and said “I want one”. I offered him the same he took it and crunched it up (they are very hot) and then asked for a second, which I gave him. When he asked for a third I said, “No, too many sweets are bad for your teeth” ( I looked over my shoulder in case anyone was watching me, as they would have thought I was nuts talking to animals. When I turned back, I smoothed this chap on the head and he gave me this great big smile. And, he then did it again to allow me to take the photo.
Don’t you just love ‘Dumb’ animals? Whoever named animals dumb, was no genius!!
This is another of the pics I have collected over time and whenever there is a credit on the pic I have left it on. Otherwise apologies to the photographer who took it.
I am still up in Golden Valley today everyone was celebrating, or at least starting the celebrations of our dear Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Anniversary. Unfortunately, the weather turned quite miserable with lots of the wet stuff coming down in ‘stair rods’.
I have spent most of the last three days attempting to put together a new web site. I guess I am about 25% through, on top of that I was asked to photograph the Holiday Homes nearby for an article on ‘Park Life’. Unfortunately the rain prevented many decent shots, and when it wasn’t raining the light was rubbish.
Anyhow, dear friends I will get down to some more serious blogging soon, meanwhile here is the pic I promised.
Well, I have been up in the Golden Valley now for 11 days, and it has rained every day! In fact when we first arrived we had snow and hail stones as well as floods. So as you can imagine I have taken very few photos. In fact I would go as far to say that I think that Spring is about three to four weeks behind in this neck of the woods. Birds are still nest building! And, yesterday I saw what I believe to be a Grey Wagtail and it’s mate attempting copulation, how late is that? The same thing in the river – which is usually 6 inches deep and was until two days ago 6 feet deep – a pair of Mallard floating down stream at about 10 knots, trying to mate. Every time the drake jumped on her back she nearly drowned! All this time they were coming towards me in the gloom, and they were so interested in what they were doing that they hadn’t noticed me, plus they were white water rafting! (imagine trying to make babies the same time as you are hammering down the river at 70 mile an hour). Anyway, I think I did the duck a favour because as they reached me they saw me he jumped off, they did a mid air spin and flew back up the river.
I had some good news last week. The Sunday Times Magazine (on line version) did an article on ‘Litter’. As it happened I had taken a few pics over time on litter so submitted what I thought may be suitable. I’m pleased to say they chose a photo of a black Bra that I had spotted in a wooded ‘Pull-In’ up near Tintern Abbey ruins in the Wye Valley in Wales. It was on a Sunday morning so I guess the Bra was left there from the Saturday night before! The mind boggles. Check out the link to the post here: http://tinyurl.com/c9pwgv9
Oh well…..let’s see what the weather is like for the next couple of days…that’s all I have left for this month in Herefordshire to get the shots on my list. Unfortunately, I am not holding out too much hope. It’s actually pouring down as I type!!!
I am currently away on a trip to the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, UK. It was supposed to be a Nature Photography trip! I say supposed because it hasn’t stopped raining for more than an hour yet. But it is such beautiful countryside that I don’t really mind. Hopefully I will post some pix soon.
I know that I have mentioned the illegal trapping of songbirds in Cyprus before. However, I have received today the following YouTube clip which really is barbaric. I have also included on my blog a place where you can sign a petition to stop this slaughter. If you wish you could also put the petition onto your blog and we could get even better coverage of this hideous practice and do some small thing to save some of our wildlife for the future.