Changing seasons

Brenda writes: “Having for years observed wild flowers through the season one of the most interesting aspects are the seasonal variations. Although the general order remains the same, because the British climate is unpredictable, how species combine is subtly different every year. That’s why I so enjoy logging the dates when plants flower. Running a moth …

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Taking stock

In a strange way it’s been rather nice to be in a field on my own! The downside is that I haven’t been feeling great – no energy and slightly feverish – but that’s just the way the covid is taking me I guess. On the plus side a bit of enforced rest is sometimes …

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Mellow fruitfulness

Brenda writes: “At this time of year the season is beginning to turn and as well as watching for species that flower later I’m also aware of those which flowered earlier now bearing ripe fruit. As I walked down to the woods at Downe House the berries on the rowan trees were red. I’m seeing …

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Covid strikes

As if to try to compound our lack of wildlife opportunities this week I came down with covid today: Amazingly my first ever bout! We had already had about three people succumb during the course, and I gather it is pretty rife at present. I started feeling unwell during the day, but it hit me …

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Sunshine after rain

Brenda writes: “After yesterday’s rain it was lovely to have my first walk at Downe House. Last year everything was parched and the lawns were yellow. This year it is very green – such a beautiful place. The school is on an escarpment and on the edge of the site is lovely mixed woodland with …

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Raining Downe

Another rather dismal and rainy day today: Not that I noticed it much as I was non-stop either taking rehearsals, organising rehearsals or planning concert programmes. All good fun, but pretty tiring. Downe House school, where this course is based, has some nice grounds and I know that tomorrow, when the forecast says we should …

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Chit-chat

It’s going to be tricky to keep up an interesting blog for the next couple of weeks as Brenda and I are both away on music courses! On the current course in Berkshire Brenda is a viola tutor and I’m course director. That means that I’m generally pretty busy for the entire week, but on …

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Off in the camper

Brenda writes: “After my Sunday morning services we finished packing and headed off in our camper van. Our ultimate destination is Downe House school in Berkshire, but tonight we were having one overnight on a farm campsite a few miles away. It’s always interesting watching the grass verges on a journey. At the moment there’s …

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Lichen or not

Brenda writes: “Despite overnight rain there were a reasonable number of moths in the trap, three of which were new. The tree-lichen beauty is particularly pretty and gets its name from its green colour and texture. I always appreciate a pug that is easily identifiable and was delighted with the tawny speckled pug, which is …

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A hint of mint

Brenda writes: “This morning there was much more in the moth trap including eight saltmarsh plumes, agdistis bennetii. They have a very distinctive stance when settled, at a 45° angle rather than at right angles. There were three other moths, all distinctive in their own ways. The iron prominent has rusty markings on its wings, …

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