Oh what a beautiful morning

On the way to work today I stopped off as some of my teaching books were rattling around in the back annoying me. I pulled into one of the lay-bys and couldn’t resist taking a few snaps. The photos don’t do justice to what a beautiful sunrise it was.






It feels like Autumn is here now. The berries are now on the bushes. Leaves are starting to turn.




Today in the garden spotted this lovely striped hoverfly (Helophilus trivittatus I think). A wasp mimic that is common to gardens.



The birds in the garden are starting to come back to the feeder after fledging. Still not a massive variety mainly pigeons and blackbirds coming in along with some doves, starlings. Then the occasional robin and blue tits.




My Family and Other Animals (Unabridged)

I finished listening to My Family and Other Animals (Unabridged) by Gerald Durrell, narrated by Nigel Davenport on Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd?asin=B004FTIEFK&source_code=AUKORWS071615904J
I first read this book as a child on a holiday in Greece. I thoroughly enjoyed reliving Gerry’s tales of scorpions, magenpies, and albatrosses.

Gerald Durrell’s acounts of his childhood and grounding in natural history are still excellent reading for any animal lover. They are full of humor as well as details of the animals. 

The route Gerald Durrell took to becoming a naturalist preserving animals in jars and taking animals from the wild would be frowned on now. But it’s worth remembering that this background gave us an exceptional conservationist.

Horse and hound

Today me and Alice went out for a walk around town. We found a horse and dog show going on in the park.




Alice didn’t seem too bothered for horses. She fell asleep on seeing one. At least I know she won’t be asking for a pony for Christmas any time soon.

We only saw the horse show which was a suitably equestrian affair. Rosettes being presented by women in dowdy dresses and wide brimmed hats. The dog show I can only imagine is more of a wrestling match with last dog standing. There were dogs snarling at each other, straining on their leads, circling in the ring. I reckon any dog that makes it to the end of the afternoon is a winner.

There were a few stalls around the show. I picked up a nice pot of heather. Should look and smell nice potted on the patio. Along with adding to the pollen selection available to the insect life in the garden.

On the way home we went by the seafront. It was a nice day with a good view of Flamborough.

I spotted three butterfly species along the coastal path: tortoiseshell, red admiral and speckled wood.

Linked to my trip to the park the government are looking at how our parks are used. This is a chance to share one way you gain access to nature. It’s just a quick questionnaire. The more people who fill it in the better.


A bigger moth for Amy

Earlier in the week I set up my moths for my classes work on Amy Johnson. However the classroom next door has decided to go with a larger variety. They have taken possession of 3 atlas moths cocoons. These beasts are a couple of inches long each.

The teacher ordering wasn’t aware how big the moths emerged as. She’s now a bit scared.



My garden moths has one caterpillar growing massive while the others are remaining small.

Down at the bottom of the garden

Last night putting some compost out saw the hog again. It’s nice to know it’s becoming a regular. 

Then today I’ve noticed lots of ladybird pupa on the ivy in the path behind the garden. At least I think there ladybirds.

While mowing the lawn encountered this angel shades moth. Lovely shades of brown and lilac.

Under a pile of rubbish uncovered what I think are earwig eggs.

Overall a productive afternoon. Some daffodils potted and bluebells planted in the shade of the trees so I get some Spring colour. A good bit of dead growth cleared in the corner near the shed. A rest has been earned.

Tiger Moths

My classroom has had a new addition to go alongside my beetles.

As we are taking part in Hull City of Culture we are spending the year studying different aspects of Hull. This term we are looking at the history and will be covering Amy Johnson. Across the city giant moths have sprung up to celebrate Amy Johnson’s amazing life.


In order to add to the celebrations and indulge my love of the natural world we know have 10 tiger moth caterpillars. The caterpillars known as fuzzy bear caterpillars are supposed to be easy to rear eating most low lying green leaves: dandelions, nettles, brambles, etc. So hopefully over the year we will get to see them grow and eventually pupate.




So hopefully by next Summer we will of had some of these beauties.



Birds in flight

On a walk out with Alice earlier in the week attempted to catch gulls in flight. I’m trying to get used to tracking their movements. Not the best photos, but getting a bit clearer.

Started a bit distant.


A swarm taking off along the beach.


Getting a bit closer.



Going for a dive bomb overhead.


Much easier when they stay still.


Alice seemed soothed by the sound of waves and gulls watched contently.