Autumn

It’s a mild autumn day and perfect for a stroll among the falling leaves. The squirrels are out in force today and the first one I encounter is just a few feet from my doorway. After that I see several more collecting nuts ready for their winter hibernation.

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It is still so mild that even butterflies are out and I also see another hummingbird hawk moth but fail to photograph it. However while sorting through my images I came across two nice photos I had overlooked in my eagerness to post the previous humming hawk moth photos.

Meanwhile I reflect on today’s welcome news that eleven supreme court judges have unanimously ruled against Boris Johnson. I think it is the first time I have felt any relief since the start of the whole Brexit saga. It is a great day for the rule of law, if not democracy.

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Just minding his own business … zen-like.

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‘Nuts whole hazel nuts’ … a mouthful of nuts ready for winter

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The hummingbird hawk moth close up from my last encounter.

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Note the particularly long proboscis.

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A red admiral butterfly seen for the first time this year.

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A jay finds a convenient wooden handrail to perch on.

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… and sheep are doing their best to keep the grass trimmed on the hillsides.

Sunday walk III

Yesterday felt like the hottest day so far this summer, even if it failed to break any records. Today as I venture out on my Sunday walk it is cooler but still very warm. However it looks like from now on it’s downhill all the way as far as temperatures go.

I wade through ferns on a zigzag path that eventually meets a dirt track halfway down the hill and plonk myself on my favourite bench to soak up the sun. It is pretty quiet and I have yet to photograph anything interesting. While meditating I listen to the sounds of the forest. Bird calls, twigs crack and leaves rustle as a cool breeze filters through the trees.

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I open my eyes and spot what at first I think is a buzzard but it turns out to be some sort of hawk. I manage one poor shot but the silhouette is enough to identify it as a bird of prey, but what, I have no idea. I shall leave that to the ornithologists.

Soon after this, walking along the dirt track, a buzzard shoots out of the undergrowth in front of me and crosses the track in a slow low glide before disappearing into the forest below. No chance of a photo but always impressive when you see them close up instead of just a silhouette up in the sky.

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I notice the ‘prehistoric’ plants from last week have all been mowed down along with what was left of the wildflowers. It seems rather pointless cutting forest grass especially as it had only been done on one side of the track. Last year there had been a large bush of thistles that had attracted a variety of butterflies but when I arrived there this year to take photos it was gone. It seems to me that foresters have little interest in nature. I see this all the time. Mowed grass that could easily be left wild but there is a western obsession with mowing lawns. ‘Must keep things tidy, what will people think!’ The trouble with that is all the wildflowers are destroyed too, essential for butterflies and bees. I used to write to councils about these sort of things but they invariably ignored me. Give young unemployed guys a noisy polluting strimmer or leaf blower and it will keep them happy and off the streets. That is the mindset of councilors.

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I came across this curious thing in the forest, which was a web with what looked like a burrowing hole for a small animal. No idea what it is. The hole was a bit bigger than finger size and had not been touched as the web had been constructed around the hole as far as I could tell. Any suggestions welcome ?

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A jay hides in long grass searching and listening for bugs, eventually taking flight back into the forest.

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Finally a photo of my favourite tree, which I have often photographed and probably already posted here before.

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