Showing posts from July, 2013

An exploration of British wild flowers

A couple of months ago I bought myself a new macro lens for my digital SLR camera.   For anyone who doesn't know what a macro lens is, basically it allows you to focus on objects at very close range and the resulting images are reproduced at a ratio of 1:1.     With my lens, for example, I can focus on a small postage stamp until it fills the frame and this will be recorded at actual size on the camera's sensor. I originally bought the lens for food photography, but a very pleasing by-product of this has been my discovery of flowers, particularly wild flowers.   My new lens is perfect for getting in as close as possible to a flower and really showing off its beauty.    And in doing so I've then gone on to identify each specimen, which isn't always easy.   There are several sites on the internet which allow you to key in various attributes of the flower, such as petal shape and colour, and by a process of elimination   so far I've identified every one. Some I


Until last week I had never seen a badger.  Well, actually, that's not strictly true.  I'd seen them on television nature programmes and, sadly, I've seen several dead ones at the side of the road.  I even got out of the car once to take a close look at one which had been recently mown down and, for a brief moment, I considered taking it to a taxidermist.  In the end though I drove on and left it for someone else who fancied the idea of having a stuffed badger in their living room or, more likely, as a substantial meal for the crows. Then last week my badger drought ended.  Suddenly I found myself keeping nightly company with not one but three of the adorable, humbug faced little creatures.  The place was Wales.  North Pembrokeshire to be exact, where myself and my husband had rented a small cottage on an isolated farm.  When I had booked the cottage several months previously, I vaguely recall there being mention on the website that badgers could sometimes be seen ha

A visit to Hadrian's Wall

I just love visiting Hadrian's Wall.  I've lost count of how many times I've been there now, but I never tire of the place.  Quite apart from the fact that it's teeming with Roman history and archaeology, it just feels so wild and wonderful. My last visit was back in April (2013) when, for once, the weather was very kind to us.  Well, let's say it was kinder than usual in that we were up there for two days and the first day was fairly sunny.  It only rained a bit on the second day (just for the duration of our four hour walk).  Even when it rains though, it's still a truly magical place and there's something strangely satisfying about walking into the wind with your hood up and your head down.  It makes the tea room at the end all the more welcome. On each of the two days this visit we (that is myself and my husband) walked circular routes of around 8 miles each, setting off on each walk from the visitor centre at the intriguingly named Once Brewe