Saturday, 27 September 2008

Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

I had today planned for weeks. A day at Malvern to visit the RHS Autumn Gardening Show. The RHS run a Spring show there too and I try if I can to do both as it's a wonderful event. But...having had a bit of a late night after my Chinese take-away dinner date was somewhat delayed on the M5 coming back from Stratford-upon-Avon where she'd bought a car, this morning I woke and well you know some days you have something planned but just don't want to do it. Today was that day, and from that change it turned out to be a very nice day indeed. As ever, please click on images to enlarge.

Down at Sand Bay first thing just for half an hour of fresh air really as the tide was miles out so any birding would be pointless. But while there the sun tried its level best to rise over the reeds.

And why have I photographed some not too exciting Hawthorn Berries next to where I parked my car? Well back on May 1st this year I wrote about Beltain on the Blog and photographed the "May Blossom". And so 5 months later those self same fresh wonderful flowers on the same branch have transformed themselves into ripe berries.

And then while photographing this Tree Mallow, purely because the leaf pattern intrigued me, I noticed a Common Froghopper on the leaf. The nymphs of this little chap are your Cuckoo Spit producers.

It was while admiring the flowering of a Sea Club-rush, I noticed a Little Egret take off from the Marsh. Sadly this photo is absolutely awful, even after being photo shopped, but at least it gives a record. Birds down at Sand Bay were just the usual suspects, however a nice flock of 50-60 Goldfinch jangling past was a very welcome distraction. The only other notable bird was a lone Swallow over the farm. This straggler is the first I've seen for weeks.

After Sand Bay a bit of a doing things morning developed. After dropping a friend off at a Country Club Gym, I upped the sophistication with a visit to the Tip, sorry Civic Amenity Site, with a mattress; shopping in Tesco Nailsea followed (not to be recommended on a Saturday morning) before I returned to the Country Club. Friend had finished her work-out and we had a very acceptable luncheon before I popped home to find this chap above in the sink. This is (I'm 99.9% certain) one of the lace web spiders, Amaurobious Ferox. The reason I'm not 100% certain is that although the "Skull and Crossbone" markings are diagnostic, the whole Amaurobious genus can show very variable markings. And the Long-Tailed Tits? Well just there because at about 5, a small flock appeared in the birch, twittered and flitted across the tree then left. I can never tire of watching these birds.

To round off what was a very nice day, as the sun set, I could feel the cold air dropping. Which can mean only one thing here, mist. So a quick sprint in the car around the lanes here produced a good number of scenic shots. As I've said before and will no doubt say again, this time of the year is wonderful.

Tree-hugging sun, or Sun resting on tree?

Gathering mist

Woodspring Priory across the North Somerset Levels as the mist gathers

Well that's a brief synopsis of how an unplanned day can delight, and entertain. Tomorrow may not be quite as wildlife stuffed as I'm off to have lunch in Swindon with 18 people I don't know. No idea what's happening but I'm sure I will enjoy it whatever happens.


  1. That Hawthorn is beautiful. Wonderful colours. Lovely pictures all.

  2. Your "misty" pics are lovely; very atmospheric.

    Isn't it great when impromptu moments turn out to be so satisfying and rewarding :)

  3. well border you dirty dog never took you long to find a new lady friend.

  4. Nice photos and that mist is stunning. Well done.

  5. Thanks Oldcrow, Tricia and Joe, glad you enjoyed a slice of Somersetshire life.

    Jasper - just a friend in case anyone asks.