Don’t worry this isn’t another post about a Dog. Today we have got wildflowers, fruits, butterflies, wild animals and some pretty tame ones but before I can get started…..
My day always begins with a plaintive whine. She hears me moving around in the kitchen and positions herself under my window and cries.
“Hurry up! I want to explore nature and discover wonderful new things.”
Shut up! I am making my breakfast.
Today we are going to climb over the fence and look for the new Badger sett in the next field along. My camera is currently tied to the other side of this tree looking out on a field full of sheep.
Try and guess what it is filming….
You don’t have to watch all of this video (unless you are looking for a date) . Having a field full of sheep hasn’t given me too many problems so far but it was pretty obvious that I would get some of this.
The next field along is a corn field.
I know that there is going to be some confusion about this so let me take a moment to set the record straight.
In England when we talk about cornfields we usually picture (quite correctly) fields of wheat. In Scotland they often see oats. Corn is a word derived from the Latin granum and it means grain.
When Christopher Columbus landed in Cuba the natives there presented him with a grain that they called mahiz and Columbus promptly corrupted that to maize but the name corn also stuck.
To most of the world the words corn and maize are interchangeable and mean the same thing but in the UK we still think of corn as meaning grain, any grain.
Either way this is a corn field.
This abundance of food might be the reason that the Badgers switched fields. Some animals have been helping themselves.
While some animals are obviously eating the corn I don’t think that they are having a major impact on the value of the crop, It is just a little bit here and there.
I had noticed that my Badgers were looking particularly well fed, portly even.
Did you notice the little blue flowers?
They are Common Field-speedwell, Veronica persica.
I started photographing these at the beginning of March, long before the traditional Spring flowers like Wood Anemones and Bluebells and they have flowered everyday since.
They are very good value for money, especially if like me you don’t actually have to pay for them 🙂
So I am bumbling about looking for a Badger sett. I never did find it, there is at least forty acres of maize here and most of the hedgerow is inaccessible to me. I kept bumping into other things.
This little Comma. At this time of year we can’t afford to pass on any butterflies, they won’t be around for very much longer.
This is a young butterfly and it is fresh and beautiful. The Comma is one of the butterflies that overwinters here as an adult. This delicate little animal will spend the whole winter sleeping outside, through all of the terrible weather and it will survive the frosts. It will take flight again around the second week in March, that for me is the end of winter, when the butterflies return.
Winter is still a way of yet and the hedgerow is full of autumn fruit.
On a bramble leaf I see another butterfly. This one is a Speckled Wood. These butterflies are unique amongst British species because they can overwinter either as a caterpillar or a chrysalis. Those that reach the chrysalis stage will be amongst the first butterflies that we see next year and they will be newly emerged and beautiful.
Well that is about it for today. Did you have a nice walk?
Foggy was a character from the British sitcom “Last of the summer wine” and also something that happened to my Badger and Fox last night.
So that is it. Sleep tight and mind the bugs don’t bite.
12 thoughts on “Last of the Summer Whine?”
Just to complicate the corn/maize thing further, if you say “maize” to most people in the US, they’ll think of what we call Indian corn, the pretty multi-colored stuff that’s generally used for fall decoration. I don’t think I’ve ever heard sweet corn or popcorn called maize unless someone was explaining the word.
Or in this:
“Popmaize” sounds more fun, though, doesn’t it? And that doesn’t even take into account the corn maze. 🙂
Thanks Maia 🙂 I try to take an interest in what goes on around the farm and it is very interesting for a townie like myself. The truth is though I don’t really want to learn that much about cereal grains, nature is complicated enough and so I like the use of the word corn to mean any grain and that is all that you have to know. If it has got ears it’s a corn. Sorry Fizz, or a dog. 🙂
Your posts are just wonderful and I look forward to seeing them. Thank you.
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Thank you very much Sarasin 🙂
Wonderful. Sheep seem very nice. I don’t know any, personally, and, unfortunately, have never even petted one, but I admire their beauty and seemingly gentle demeanor.
Thanks Gigi 🙂 I like sheep. Living with them I have come to appreciate the way that they live their lives. Protected and cared for with many acres of space, they live in a social group with their own lambs present. This is about as far from intensive farming as you can get.
Interesting reading about the word origins of corn. That is one portly badger, do they hibernate? Love all your photos and dear Fizz!
Thanks Eliza 🙂 European Badgers do not hibernate as such, they have a period of very low activity during December and January when food is in very short supply and it is cold out. During this period they will spend a lot of time underground sometimes not emerging for days and they need good fat supplies to get them through this time.
The Comma butterfly and the Speedwell were beautiful. We still have just one Speckled Wood in the garden, but I always feel so sad to see the wasps flying round looking for somewhere to die. They used to be so fierce and scary, and now they are so slow and almost accepting.
Yes, I enjoyed my walk! The flowers and butterflies are gorgeous! The badgers are not starving that’s for sure! And I loved the sheep I saw a little bossy one in there. And of course . . . Fizz. You know how I love her! Thanks for our little adventure. Always look forward to it. 🙂 Sandi
I have enjoyed all your videos. I like to think of the animals out at night living their lives without us humans getting in the way too much.
It is great to see the fox and badger looking so healthy. I had no idea some butterflies overwinter as adults.