Tag Archives: Blackberries

Frosting the Dog

Well, it wasn’t really much of a frost and I think we may have to put off declaring a “State of Emergency” for a day or two.

FrostThere was some frost on the little things.

Little ThingFrost can be quite destructive and Spindle berries were dropping off the tree as I was trying to photograph them.

Spindle Berries

Spindle BerriesA few of the remaining flowers were totally frosted and I don’t think that they will last much longer.

HogweedIt feels a bit like we are saying goodbye to the colours of Autumn and hello to the greyness that is Winter.

BlackberriesToday wasn’t very cold.The Puddles were not frozen…

Mud(There is nothing like a cool drink of mud to set you up for the day)

There was no frost at all under the trees. They have a warmth of their own, trapping warm air and protecting their surroundings from exposure to the cold night.

I am not really sure that this is frost on the grass and not just cold dew.


GrassBut Winter is coming…. and the Sloes will taste sweeter.

Sloe Berries

Sloe BerriesFizz got an extra walk and she has got insulation so she doesn’t mind the cold and when we got home I had some toast (In case it gets bad later)





Last of the Summer Whine?

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.

The Plaintif“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.

CornfieldTry 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.

CornfieldI 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.

CornfieldThis abundance of food might be the reason that the Badgers switched fields. Some animals have been helping themselves.



CornfieldWhile 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.

CornfieldI 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 🙂

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwell

Common Field-speedwellSo 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.

Comma ButterflyThis 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.

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

Comma ButterflyWinter is still a way of yet and the  hedgerow is full of autumn fruit.




BrambleOn 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.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Speckled WoodWell that is about it for today. Did you have a nice walk?



FizzOh I nearly forgot Foggy,

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.



BrambleThis morning my WordPress interface has changed. I have read about this happening to other people. So I have to test it out. I don’t like this layout but does it still work? I have a preview button but it doesn’t show me a preview it just tells me that I have saved a post.

So anyway Bramble, Rubus fruticosa. This is a good time to look at it because right now almost every stage of development is present on the bush. I love Bramble, it is one of my top plants. It provides year round cover and protection for all sorts of wildlife. Nectar, so many of my insect pictures are on Bramble and then fruit. This plant just keeps on giving.

Bramble Bramble Bramble Bramble Bramble Bramble BrambleThese picture were all taken in the last couple of days. Everything is on the bush at the moment, even rain. These last couple of pictures are from yesterday.

Bramble BrambleSo now I am going to press the publish button and then I may delete this post quite quickly. I really don’t like not having a preview.

Romany-ing around

I have been out for a nice walk this morning, on my own though and in a bit I will have to take Fizz out. It is raining at the moment.

I met a fellow this morning and he told me his name was Pete. A Romany Gypsy who has now settled in the local village. Pete knew a bit about Butterflies.

While I was talking to Pete I noticed the Bracken was colouring up nicely.

BrackenIf you have ever wondered what Bracken is here for, it is to make me happy and it does it’s job well. I have started to take photographs but I am not ready to do a post about Bracken yet

BrackenI am also noticing that Blackberries are beginning to ripen on the Brambles, it is starting to feel like “Late Summer.”

BlackbeerriesPete was walking the littlest dog that I have ever seen, it would have made Fizz feel big. So I politely commented, “That’s a little dog.”

Pete used to own and breed Lurchers, he is 77 and retired now but once he made his living off his dogs. He told me that he used to show them and also organise shows. In his heyday he would have 1500 people paying five pounds a head to enter a dog for the chance of £3000 in prize money but it has all changed now.

Don’t complain to me about that, I am not responsible for the conditions of Romany dogs fifty years ago, nor do I know anything about those conditions. I imagine that they were loved and cared for as one of the family. I just like meeting interesting people.

Pete told me that he missed his dogs sorely, the last one died last year having picked up a tick in the woods. He still has a little companion if and when he fancies a kick around in the field. Which reminds me that my little side kick still needs a walk.

It wasn’t a bad day for Butterflies, I got some pictures of the amazing and colourful Meadow Brown. (It is in this next picture somewhere)

Meadow BrownI have felt that I had a duty to photograph the Meadow Brown and I did my best but I kept getting distracted by the more mundane little insects.

Female Common BlueThe best bit of this morning was that I got good pictures of the female Gatekeeper. I have been after those since I posted the male a couple of weeks ago. (Post coming up)

Female GatekeeeperThe biggest disappointment was that I didn’t see a Clouded Yellow, that was what I was really after. Pete had seen a few about last year but that didn’t help.

I also saw and photographed some beautiful wildflowers.



WildflowersThey all have posts coming up but maybe I can’t do them all today. I have a strong desire to wash my kitchen floor and take Poochy out for a game of ball.

So, sorry to do such a b-rambling post…

BrambleI just wanted to write about Pete and set a few things in my mind for the next time that we meet. Little details are important. 🙂