Monday, 22 July 2013

Caterpillars

There was a real lack of butterflies early on, but the hot weather seems to have revived them. I've even seen some I haven't seen before, like a pair of White Admirals. (Didn't have my camera with me at the time).
Today we saw these in the nettle patch.............




Three separate hatchings of baby caterpillars, three different varieties and still some more eggs unhatched near by. Loads of future butterflies!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Summer Bike Ride

A few photos of my round-the-block evening bike ride.......



past the pond
Lovely old mill for sale!

Sheep!
Turn Left


Barn not converted to house!





Duck in road

Farm that always looks empty




Holiday cottages rarely occupied



In distance is the derelict holiday centre where I caught Smudge

More sheep!



It was along this track that I rode my beautiful horse for the last time

Past the fishing farm



Pigeon

Very shallow pond


Stables where my friend keeps her Arab mare

Cottages hidden behind thick hedges







My bike cost £20 from nearby village. I added the basket & lamp.



Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The great outdoors!

Sometimes I need a push to get off my backside when I get home from work, hot, tired and with aching feet. I've finally got my bike out of the shed, and I'm keeping it out to encourage me to do a daily ride round the block. It takes about half an hour, and with the weather like it is, I have to wait until at least 9.00 pm to be cool enough.
Last night we were out in the garden when our neighbour told us about a honey bee swarm on the paddock fence post. He had called a local bee keeper he knew to take it away, but while we watched and took photos, he told me some fascinating facts about bees. Turns out he wants to keep a couple of hives on his brother's plot of land, and has been reading up. He's got his hives, but they're not ready yet.
The bees that swarm after the queen are in transit, waiting for scout bees to return and take them to a suitable, safe place to hive. Therefore, the bee keeper needs to get to them before the scouts, and she arrived just five minutes after the phone call.
She quickly placed a sheet and a whicker basket upside down on the sheet, then violently tugged at the fence. The bulk of the swarm fell on the sheet. They didn't seem at all angry, just went about getting into the dark of the whicker basket.
Some bees stayed on the pole. She told us they will be able to smell the queen for several hours after she has gone. There's still some there today. I wonder what they will do? The swarm has been taken just a couple of miles away, so maybe they will join up again.








I found the whole process fascinating, even though I have always hated honey!

There's a new foal at the farm, called Percy. I took these photos on the first morning after his birth, but he was so busy feeding and hiding his pretty face!








Right, I'm off on my bike now. I've left it a bit late. Tomorrow I will take my camera with me, but for now I will whizz down the cool, hay-scented lanes in the sunset while I can.