Monday, 27 May 2013

Parallel Universes and Arthur Rackham

Wandering into the realms of fantasy, I'm sure there are stories to be found in the curved wormhole world in water droplets, unlike circumnavigating the globe, it's a short stroll round the inside of this.
Exmoor, and specifically the river alley West of Dunkery Beacon and below Webber's Post is a treasure trove of Rackham style trees, I've never been there at midnight with a full moon but...

Sunday, 26 May 2013

BTs, confused!

Time for some more BTs, linked to each other.
1. The weather inspiring me to grub around in flower beds
   2. Finding pea, bean, carrot & spinach sprouts just where they should be.
        3. A solitary confused winter jasmine flower proudly imitating a sunny buttercup from high in the hedge.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

More Exmoor stuff!

For my education I'm going to try and give the full names of plants I feature, relatively easy for the flowers, particularly if the have garden-relatives to give a clue to their identity. I may admit defeat on grasses and fungi such as the extraordinarily patterned bracket fungi on a silver birch log and the lichen, on beech trees at the medieval village near Exford confirming, if necessary, the clean air.

Ivy-leafed Crowfoot, Ranunculus hederaceous, a nice little watery buttercup-cousin.


Above is an unusual colour variant of the normally near-white, below, of wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella near Watersmeet, Exmoor

Real Bluebells and Another New Orchid.

 The sudden change in weather inspired us to wander the North Downs Way, from Dorking. The bluebells are so late, unlike their thuggy Spanish cousins who seem determined to take over the world. Our natives are so much more delicate, scented and a rich purple-tinged blue. Even the old name, Endymion non-scriptus is more poetic than Hyacinthoides hispanica. Sadly instead of commemorating the handsome Greek hero beloved of Goddesses it's now just another hyacinth.

I've now collected (photographically) 14 of the British native orchids, having found a small clump of Bird's-nest Orchids (Neottia nidus-avis) today near Dorking. Very pleasing as my book lists them as "near threatened". Curious creatures, totally dependant for food on fungi which they parasitise, the fungi in turn depend on the trees, usually beech, for food.

It's always good to see an old friend, Common (not very!) Twayblade.

                                                          All in all a very good day's walking.

Friday, 24 May 2013


Camping on Exmoor with the DofE group is the perfect excuse to be out in whatever the weather throws at us, this year we were rather lucky, although the mornings chilly and misty.

The beautiful early beech trees upstream from Watersmeet.

Looking towards Wales from Dunkery Beacon, literally the high point of our walks, although some years it means cowering behind the large cairn counting groups of girls through, keeping warm with soup and coffee.

DofE again

It's That time of year, silver on Exmoor with perfect weather, just a shower while we were all in our tents. Spring was quite late but beautiful. Here is a selection of the inevitable creepycrawlies!
You could be forgiven for not knowing this is an Orange Tip, I saw them as he landed, but he's now safely camouflaged on a wild strawberry flower.

I have no idea what this fellow is, some sort of mite? He's about 3mm long, and velvety.

This shy little lizard sunning himself regarded the path as his property, and returned as soon as I'd moved on.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Last week's drawing class was on portraits, something I find very difficult, the pencil ones I did in class weren't for sharing, but charcoal works much better. These were from photos I've taken on our various travels

Friday, 17 May 2013


                             Can't go anywhere without finding some plants and creepycrawlies!

                                                           And another black&white one

More Skye

Apart from unpredictable weather, islands have wonderful opportunities for photos.




Stormy Skye

Our recent trip to Skye was tantalising for what it might have been, we're planning to go again to see what it should be like! Most of the pictures give an unreal impression, it was too wet to get my camera out!

We did however discover the amazing cafearriba, advertises itself as "The best coffee in town" It also has the world's best chocolate brownies (1 between 2 people may be plenty on a non-walking day!)
If it's not too crowded you might get a harbour view table.