Big Butterfly Count 2016

rambling ratz

It is the annual UK survey of butterflies again. It is running until 7th August and the details are on the Big Butterfly Count website.

Personally speaking, this year, the large white butterflies seem to be the most abundant in the garden.Photo of large white butterfly

The good old speckled wood was also around.Photo of speckled wood butterfly

The comma was sunbathing.Photo of comma butterfly

It is called a comma because of the distinctive white comma shaped mark on the underwing.Photo of comma butterfly underwing

I also saw some holly blue butterflies, but they were not willing to pose for photographs.  Here is one from a previous year.Photo of holly blue butterfly

I have not noticed that many butterflies around this year. I think that it has been too wet and windy for them. In previous years I have also managed to snap red admirals and peacocks.

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Irasshaimase (Welcome) to the Hyper Japan Festival July 2016 Part 1

Just recently we made our second visit to the event which is essential for anyone interested in all aspects of Japanese culture. From the traditional arts of singing and dancing, the latest video a…

Source : Irasshaimase (Welcome) to the Hyper Japan Festival July 2016 Part 1

Victoria House

rambling ratz

One of my early morning suburban strolls took me around the grounds of Victoria House in Hereford. A once fine building falling into dereliction.Photo of Victoria House

It was built in 1912 to accommodate the resident surgeon of the Victoria Eye Hospital. This hospital used to be next to it, but has sadly been closed and turned into residential accommodation. Victoria House was then used as an administrative centre for the local health authority. Several years ago they also moved out and the building has been left empty.Photo of Victoria House

There are plans to knock it down and build a retirement village or some such. However, many local people feel that it is an iconic and significant building. Although they failed to get it listed, they would prefer that the building be preserved and restored.Photo of Victoria House

A local school backs onto this building and they have objected to the planning proposals on the grounds that, « ……

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Foxgloves

rambling ratz

Credenhill Park Wood seems to be a good place for foxgloves. They line the paths, cling to the banks of the ramparts and speckle the grazing area purple.

photo of foxgloveFoxgloves were used in folk remedies for Dropsy, a quaint name for the oedema caused by congestive heart failure; unfortunately the poisonous brew also caused vomiting. Around 1775 Dr William Withering did some experiments with this concoction and extracted the beneficial constituent part of the foxglove, which we now know as digitalin – a drug that strengthens the heartbeat.

As one might expect there is much folklore concerning foxgloves: fairies give the flowers to foxes to wear on their feet so they can raid chicken coups quietly; the bell-like flowers ring to warn foxes that hunters are coming; if you hear a foxglove bell ring then death is imminent and so on.

Bumblebees are one of the main foxglove pollinators, they are…

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